Mars à la Ansel Adams

Opportunity panorama of Santa Maria Crater rim. © Stuart Atkinson.   As Opportunity wraps up her stay at Santa Maria crater, Stuart Atkinson leaves us with this wonderful “Ansel Adams style” panorama of the crater’s rim and dune-carpeted interior. “I’m very, very jealous of the people who will one day make a pilgrimage to this…

An Opportunity From Above

The eye in the sky sees all…especially when that eye is the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter! Here’s another great image – this time in color! – of the crater known as Santa Maria, taken from over 150 miles above the Martian surface by the MRO…and if you look carefully at the lower…

Roving the Edge

Here’s a great view of Santa Maria crater made from a couple of raw images from the Opportunity rover, taken earlier this month and assembled by Stu Atkinson. (I did take the liberty of cropping the original image a bit and filling in some of the sky at upper right.)  I particularly like the texture…

Photo Trivia

In the tradition of Universe Today’s “Where in the Universe” series, here’s a little space exploration-based photo trivia for you: what is pictured in the above image? It’s something that many of you are already familiar with, and it’s not outside of our solar system…..but that’s all the clues I’m giving! 🙂 I know one…

At Crater’s Edge

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…

A Close-Up on Oileán Ruaidh

Here’s a processed image of Opportunity’s latest point-of-interest, the toaster-sized iron meteorite Oileán Ruidh (Gaelic for “Red Island”, pronounced “ay-lan ru-ah”) by Stuart Atkinson.  This pitted, metallic chunk of rock is the subject of the rover’s most recent side trip on its way to Endeavour crater, whose mountainous rim is now well within sight across…

Back That Thing Up

For those of you who haven’t seen this yet, it’s a very neat animation made from three days’ worth of images from the Opportunity rover as it climbed away from the rim of Victoria crater in late August 2008. The “shaky cam” look gives it a very you-are-there documentary feeling, especially since the height of…

Meanwhile, back on Mars…

Opportunity has recently moved away from its latest distraction: a pair of ancient craters in the dust dunes of the Meridiani Plains dubbed “San Antonio”. The rover didn’t stay long though…a couple of days, just enough to take a few photos of the soft-edged, sandy craters. It has since struck out south again over the…

Lady’s Choice

Scientists prove it: a girl knows how to make up her mind. The image above shows the first target object – that football-sized layered rock – autonomously chosen by the Mars rover Opportunity on March 4. Opportunity selected the rock after taking a series of wide-angle panoramic images of the area and using her new…

Groovy Rock

Another image from Opportunity showing some of the heavily-textured rocks ringing Concepción crater in fascinating detail, color-calibrated by Stuart Atkinson for an approximation of Martian natural lighting. You can clearly see here the layered structure of the rocks, their angular shapes, the interesting “crust” that coats their sides as well as the small stone “berries”…

Head for the Hills!

…or, in Opportunity’s case, away from the Hills. The “Chocolate Hills“, that is…a pair of rocks on the rim of the rover’s latest exploration target, Concepción crater. Opportunity has spent a couple of weeks investigating them and other rocks in another fascinating side trip on its journey across the Meridian Plains. It is now moving…

Off to Marquette

The rover Opportunity took this false-color photo of another possible stony meteorite dubbed “Marquette Island” on Monday December 7. These objects stand out on the barren sandy plain that Opportunity is currently traveling across on its way to Endeavour Crater and provide interesting targets for investigation. The rover has already used its Rock Abrasion Tool…