At Crater’s Edge

The rocky walls of Santa Maria crater on Mars

Here’s a fantastic look at an inner wall of Santa Maria crater on Mars, the latest stop for the rover Opportunity on its travels across the Meridiani plain. Colorized by Stuart Atkinson for his Opportunity-dedicated blog The Road to Endeavour, this is a section of a larger panoramic image showing the crater’s rim and jumbled boulders within it. Dark sand lines the sloping inner walls in this view, and I find the linear textures of the exposed rocks to be pretty interesting…not sure what the cause of that is, whether it’s wind erosion or a result of the impact that created the crater, or the composition of the rocks…or a combination of all three. (Or something else entirely!) Whatever it is, it makes me want to be able to touch them in person! But since that’s not really an option, these images will have to do. 🙂

He’s also assembled a red/blue 3D image of the above that really pops, if you have some glasses handy. And for a look at the entire crater with a sense of human scale added, click here.

Be sure to check out Stu’s site for lots more images from Opportunity and experience a rover’s-eye-view of another planet!

Image: NASA / JPL / Stuart Atkinson



  1. Arcb says:

    THAT is the most amazing photograph… so tactile, and bursting! I also like the wide shot with the “human perspective” — that really drives it home! Beautiful.


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