Cape York – first view soon?

No update for a few days, sorry – been working hard on my new book (not about Mars, sadly, that title in the series was already taken, but I’m trying hard to find a way to crow-bar some Mars into it!) – but going to catch-up with Oppy’s trek now…

Ok, let’s look at where we are after Oppy’s past few drives:

You see that red flag, “Cape View”? We’ll come back to that…

Oppy is now about 1.3km away from her next “waypoint”, a crater I’ve nicknamed “Approach Crater”. Beyond that, the home-run to “Spirit Point” on the southern end of the Cape York island/ledge/hill or whatever you want to call it.

The northern end of the Tribulation Range (my title, not official in even a tiny way!) is looking VERY impressive through Oppy’s eyes now…

Zoom in on that to see some proper detail on the hills. And the closer to those we get, the more impressive they’re going to look! :-)

Now, back to that red flag. That marks the point in Oppy’s remaining journey where I think she will get her first view of Cape York, certainly the “peaks” on the northern end and maybe more. I base that guesstimate on some messing about with skilful manipulation of Google Mars, lining up the highest points of CY with our position now… and I get this… which might be wrong, I’m not a million percent confident, as always this is just me playing about with the available resources for my own entertainment (and hopefully yours!)…

So, for our CURRENT viewpoint, I think that puts Cape York somewhere to the left of “Approach Crater” as far as the horizon is concerned. Stretching that part of the horizon on the latest images vertically doesn’t bring anything Cape Yorkish into view…

…but I’m not too surprised by that; Oppy is currently climbing up out of a slight “bowl” in the landscape, which is why her horizon has reared up, obscuring more of those farside hills and the big crater (still un-named!!!!) that dominates them. I honestly think we’ll have to wait until we’re another half a kilometre “up the road” until we definitely see the top of Cape York poking above the horizon.

That’ll be a very exciting and emotional moment; on any journey, however long or small, the moment you catch that magical first glimpse of your destination is always special. Our collective first view of Cape York’s peaks will make the moment when Oppy’s adventure entered a whole new phase of scientific exploration. And that moment might – might! – come in a week or so… we’ll see…

“Cape View” is about 470m away, I’ve marked its location with a golden triangle on this next image. Oppy’s most recent position is marked by the red dot upper left.

And zooming in on that gives us a sense of scale, if you drop a “Virtual Oppy” onto the scene…

Now, as I said, this is just my own personal “for fun guessing game”. We might see CY any day, it might not appear until we’re way past my predicted viewpoint. That’s ok, it’s all part of the fun as far as I’m concerned. But one thing is sure: we will see Cape York before too long now, and then the mission will feel… different. A new destination will be in sight, a whole new scientific campaign will be about to begin.

If that doesn’t excite you well, frankly, you’re in the wrong place! :-)

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2 Responses to Cape York – first view soon?

  1. Tom says:

    “If that doesn’t excite you well, frankly, you’re in the wrong place!”
    Being the last comment in your blog entry and I read it, that means I’m in the right place!
    Thanks for all the updates, lets hope Oppy keeps making sister Spirit proud.

    Tom

  2. Just want you to know you have passive readers for quite some time. I check you daily.

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