On The Rim Of Endeavour!

After almost three years of travel across the cold, rusty plains of Mars the last remaining functioning rover on Mars has finally reached her goal: the rim of the giant Endeavour Crater! Congratulations Opportunity and the MER team! “Our arrival at this destination is a reminder that these rovers have continued far beyond the original…

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…

An “Outie” Crater

This image from the HiRISE camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows an “inverted” crater within an ice-rich debris apron just south of a mountain on Mars. Ice deposits beneath and within the soil – recently discovered using ground-penetrating radar – cause the terrain to move, distorting the landforms within it over time. As the…

Slope Streaks

This image from the HiRISE camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) shows streaks of dark-colored material lining the walls of a trough (left side) and tapering out onto its floor. One of the few currently active geologic processes on Mars, this streaking may be caused by finely-grained soil moving downhill in much the same…

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…

Diagonal Dunes

Symmetrical dune ridges line up within the basin of a Martian crater in this HiRISE image from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, taken on December 28, 2009. Rocks and boulders line the crater floor between them. With the MRO’s computers now back online observation of the Martian surface can resume in full effect, providing us with…