Oppy visits “Shelter Island”

Last week, after scooting away from the meteorite “Block Island” (see previous posts) so fast I was wondering if she’d spotted something yucky crawling around inside it, Oppy spotted another possible meteorite – a meteormight? 🙂 – up ahead… (top left)

BI2L

As Oppy headed towards it There was a lot of speculation on the net about what it might be. Adding a bit of colour made it look like this…

BI2b

Then, suddenly, Oppy had driven up to it, and yep, it’s another meteorite – and “Shelter Island” is a beauty. Here’s a gallery of the pictures I’ve made of it so far. Some require 3D glasses to view, all greatly benegit from being clicked on to bring up a full size version. Enjoy!

BI23d

met-3d

SI-3d2

si-full3

SI colour 3

SI3da

And finally, the one I’m most proud of (so far!)…

SI colour 2b

Isn’t she gorgeous! She’s badly eroded, has really been hacked at and cut into by aeons of sandblasting by the martian wind, and probably gazillions of thaw/freeze cycles too… but I, for one, can see incredible beauty in this fallen starstone sitting on the surface of Mars. It reminds me – a little – of the famous Willamette meteorite that stands in the foyer of New York’s American Museum of  Natural History…

3284

Are there more meteorites ahead of Oppy? Almost certainly. Will she stop and look at all of them? Hmmm. That’s an interesting question. The goal of Oppy is, of course, to get to Endeavour Crater, which is still at least a year’s drive away. Some people think that she should just scoot past future “Block Islands” or “Shelter Islands” because every sol she spends looking at an one is a sol’s driving wasted. Others – like myself – think that we should see each meteorite as an… ahem… opportunity to do some science. Each meteorite tells us about the conditions on Mars now, and in the past. They tell us about how assaulted this region of Mars has been by meteorites. And they tell us about how the martian environment affects metal and stone. So, I personally am happy to spend at least a couple of sols examining any meteorite spotted, but I acknowledge that some will be more interesting than others and might not be worth more than a quick look. And Endeavour is the goal.

But hey, come on… meteorites… ancient, gnarled, radiation-soaked chunks of metal and iron sharpnel from space… sitting on the surface of Mars… right in the path of one of the most amazing spacecraft ever designed, built and sent to another world…

To not stop and pay our respects would be just rude  🙂

More pix to follow, I’m sure, so watch this space.

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One Response to Oppy visits “Shelter Island”

  1. Pingback: Say hello to “Shelter Island” « Cumbrian Sky

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