Rocky round-up…

A nice big bagful of new images have come back from Oppy, showing us, for the first time, some of the big rocks around Tisdale (actually, we should call it “Tisdale 2″ as there are two other Tisdales close to it… I know, a bit silly, but there you go…). These clour images I’ve made aren’t as accurate as others I’ve made because I can’t quite get them to do as they’re told, but they’ll do for now, until better images come along, and seeing these rocks in detail for the first time is very exciting anyway!

But before we look at those, what’s been happening with Tisdale? Well, Oppy has been taking those Microscopic Imager images, and this animation I’ve made (you might need to click on it to ‘activate’ it if it doesn’t play when you load this page up) shows Oppy’s robot arm instrument package moving around above and in front of the rocky slab’s side…

Here’s a 3D view of the scene…

As for Tisdale itself, let’s see what it looks like in colour, close-up…

If you’ve got any interest in geology at all you’ll see that picture and want to be there, kneeling down beside Tisdale, picking up those rocks, turning them over in your hands and looking at their textures, feeling the weight of them… I know I do… :-)

Leaving Tisdale for now, what about those other rocks around it? Let’s take a look at the Big Picture…

Ok, let’s take a first close-up look at “Kidd Creek”, the big rock to the top of that picture…

…and in 3D…

Now, I’ve tried to make a colour view of Kidd Creek, but the colour filter image set was incomplete, so this is the best I can do for now…

I know, I know, that’s too orangey and garish, but it’s the best I’ve got for now. I’ll try again when better pictures come back. For now, just enjoy that teaser view of Kidd Creek’s messed-up nature!

Even more impressive, I think, is this big blocky beauty of a rock – “Tisdale 1″…

I like that rock a LOT. Look at how flat its side is, almost like marble. It appears to be shot through with veins of other minerals too (to my untrained, jumps-to-conclusions-easily eye), and I really am looking forward to closer study of that rock. Here it is in 3D…

That’s a fascinating chunk of martian stone, isn’t it? I’ve had a go at colourising Tisdale 1, too, and although it’s nowhere near “accurate” it does, I think, give some hints of just how beautiful this slab is going to be when Oppy rolls a bit closer to it…

Just look at the difference between that rock and the BIG “Tisdale” Oppy is currently studying…

Two rocks, within a few feet of each other, but dramatically different in appearance. I bet the geologists on the MER team are positively drooling!

So, it looks like Oppy is going to be busy here for a while, with all these fascinating rocks, boulders and slabs to explore. But after that? Well, I’m pretty sure she’ll head away from Odyssey crater – maybe doing a drive by imaging of Ridout on the way – and head NE, up the right side of Cape York, towards where those phylosillicates are waiting… I think she’ll head to a point about here

But that’s not going to happen for a while, there’s far too much to see around Odyssey Crater. So settle back and enjoy the view. This is a geological grab bag of goodies, and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of it yet. :-)

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4 Responses to Rocky round-up…

  1. it just gets better..thanks Stu :-)

  2. Regarding animated GIFs not, um, animating — I’ve noticed WordPress tends to suppress them if they are wider than your CSS theme. If you keep the GIF narrower than that and strip out any width numbers in the image properties, they will stand a better chance of animating by default. (Hope that makes sense.)

  3. Pingback: Mars Rover Opportunity Stalked From Above | Space News Center

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