Emily Lakdawalla • Aug 14, 2009
New image of Opportunity on Mars
I really can't explain why it didn't occur to me to search for the rover in the image of Victoria crater released by the HiRISE team on Wednesday. Actually, now that I reflect on it, I can; the press release about the photo of the crater hit my mailbox five minutes before I had to leave the house for a workout class and I was racing to get the thing posted. Fortunately for me, the guys at unmannedspaceflight.com weren't in as much of a hurry, and quickly located Opportunity in the full HiRISE image. Armed with the knowledge that it was there, I figured out what sol the image was taken on (1,949), dialed up Eduardo Tesheiner's latest route map, and found it myself. It's actually remarkably easy to locate in the image -- the tracks cutting across dunes were visible at fairly low magnification.
Even cooler is that you can also see Block Island in this image -- that's the enormous meteorite that Opportunity backtracked in order to study. Here's the same image as above -- I just drew on it to show you where the tracks, rover, and meteorite are located.
And finally, here's an extreme closeup on the rover and meteorite, enlarged 200%.
I'm quite chagrined I didn't notice (or even think to look for) these before! I tip my hat to Phil Stooke for pointing it out.
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