On the edge of Cape York… again…?

Well, I wasn’t expecting that… the latest images from Oppy suggest that she has taken quite a hike to the left/west, and is now back on the edge of Cape York, and almost sitting on the rubbley gravelly band of light rock that surrounds the Cape like a beach. Let me show you…

Here’s a 3D view of the ground at Oppy’s feet/wheels right now…

So here’s Tesheiner’s latest update on Oppy’s position…

…but he thinks, looking at that rocky image above, and I have to agree, that she’s a little further to the left, and might actually be on that rocky ‘moat’ that surrounds the Cape, somewhere around here…

…which would place her roundabout here (yellow triangle)  on this HiRISE image…

I honestly thought Oppy would have been heading further north now, towards those north-facing ridges, especially as her power levels are, apparrently, quite low at the moment and dropping, which is a litle bit of a worry. But unlike some rover-watchers I don’t go in for second-guessing or criticising the rover drivers and the rover team, and trust them to do their best, as they have always done, with Oppy, and steer her to a safe place for the winter. They have a plan, I’m sure, and it’s not our place to wine or twine “where are you going?” from the back seat like a customer in a taxi. Oppy is driving still, after seven years on Mars. How amazing is that?! :-)

Oppy hasn’t just been driving, though. She’s also been taking lots of images of the dark dust dunes that ripple the floor of Endeavour Crater, the idea being to stack them altogether to make a single “super resolution” image. I tried doing that myself, stacking the images in Registax, but there’s so much drift between the frames, and my Registax skills are so poor – clearly! – that I gave up after half an hour of banging my fist on the table, and instead I’ve made this simple portrait of Oppy’s tracks up the spine of Cape York, with the dust dunes and the faraway hills behind them. I’m quite pleased with it and I hope you liek it too…

With things relatively quiet at the moment, I thought I’d do some more work showing the size of Cape York and its surroundings, just because it helps – I think – to give everything a sense of scale. Black and white images from HiRISE are spectacular, to be sure, but they don’t really give an appreciation of the size of these martian landscape features. Let’s fix that today. :-)

First, let’s look at the size of Cape York compared to a very famous terrestrial landmark – “Uluru”, the huge Australian outback rock previously known as “Ayers Rock”. Here’s a lovely picture of Uluru…

Wow, that’s a big rock! But how big is it compared to Cape York? Prepare to be surprised – I was…

Okayyy… so, how big would Ayers Rock be compared to Endeavour Crater itself..?

I was fascinated by that! :-)

Speaking of craters, I was curious to see how big Cape York is compared to a very famous terrestrial crater – “Meteor Crater” which was blasted out of the Arizona desert 50,000 years ago. Here it is, I’m sure you’ll recognise it…

Again, a very impressive feature. But how does it compare in size to Cape York and Oppy’s current exploration area? Take a look…

Hmm, I like that comparison… so when Oppy eventually rolls off Cape York and heads for Solander Point and the Tribulation Range, she’ll have to drive the equivalent of the diameter of Meteor Crater to get there… :-)

What about another famous landmark tho? One seen on countless TV series, films and documentaries. This one…

If we could somehow magically steal the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco Bay, and trsnaport it to Mars, could Oppy use it as a shortcut to get her from Cape York to the foothills of Tribulation..? Take a look…

Wouldn’t that be handy? :-) Not very likely with NASA’s current budget woes, tho… :-)

After looking at those I decided it would be fun to try something a little more, well, local, so I used Google Earth again to see how big Cape York would be compared to one of my own favourite places here, the hill on which Kendal Castle stands in the middle of my town. I thought the two might be reasonlably close in size… turns out they’re almost exactly the same size..!

Now that’s just brilliant! It means that I can go for a walk up that hill, and if I walk it from one end to the other I’ll be “walking” Cape York! That’ll really help give me a feel for this stage of Oppy’s epic adventure.

So, there you go. I hope that’s helped some of you appreciate the true scale of the landscape features Oppy is exploring. If it did, let me know! If it didn’t, well, let me know that too and I’ll try other comparisons – maybe one you suggest yourself!

More pictures soon, probably.

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7 Responses to On the edge of Cape York… again…?

  1. TheAnt says:

    Thank you for those comparisons, Uluru in the Mars crater Endeavour certainly gave one idea on how large it is.

  2. Tim Barber says:

    Thanks, that’s a very helpful comparison, especially Golden Gate Bridge as I have driven it numerous times.

  3. Harald Wolf says:

    You are having WAY too much fun! And I love it!

  4. Buck says:

    The amount of work for each blog entry is incredible. Bravo!

  5. Matt Lenda says:

    This is most excellent!

    I’ll be doing a “100 sols on CY” post soon, and I’m going to steal these!

    -m

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