Ahead – the Hills of Endeavour…!

Oppy continues to roll on eastwards, and a new batch of images sent back to Earth provides us with an – ahem – opportunity to follow her progress. 2280 days into her 90 day mission, Oppy now has a quite gorgeous view of the faraway hills of Endeavour. But that view is only going to get better and better over the next few weeks, as Oppy’s view east opens up even more, and the local horizon drops, allowing us to see a wonderful wide-open-spaces vista of the hills ahead of us…

Here’s where Oppy has got to onher epic trek. I’m still using the “Twin Craters” of San Antonio as a reference point for this leg because they were the landmark most recently visited… and by the way, if you’re enjoying these charts, send a big mental “thank you!” to Eduardo Tesheiner, of unmannedspaceflight.com, who provides the rover fan community with the Google Earth .kml files which allow us to follow the journey, and allo me to record and report Oppy’s progress here on this humble little blog of mine.

So, you can see that Oppy is continuing to head east quite happily, just working her way across the great Meridiani plain en-route to the hills of Endeavour. Some new images of those hills came down today, which I assembled into this new panorama… (as ever, click for a larger version)…

Now, obviously Mars’ sky isn’t olive green! That image has a weird-looking sky because it’s a combination of raw images taken through different colour filters, and that combination doesn’t result in a “real colour” view. But messing about with it – for a beginner like me, anyway! – isn’t easy, and so I just left the colours as they were. I don’t mind that, to be honest; there are still lots of tantalising and real details visible on the hills, beneath that seasick sky…! 🙂 But converting it to a black and white image works quite well too, as you can see…

Yeah, I’m quite pleased with that 🙂 But if you want to see how it’s REALLY done, how the image processing experts convert the weird-coloured into real-coloured, then just go to the amazing gallery website of image processor extraordinaire DAmien Bouic, another of my friends from UMSF. He creates colour views from Oppy’s raw images that are nothing less than stunning. You can find his gallery here…


… and there you’ll find wonderful views that will have you shaking your head in disbelief, amongst them, this one…

… which shows a HUGE area of sky above the faraway hills. How realistic is that dark sky? I don’t know. But to be honest, I don’t care. I don’t WANT all my Mars images to be ultra-realistic; I want some of them to be unashamedly artistic, and attractive, and punch-on-the-jaw impressive. That, to me, is part of why the MER mission is so special – the data is freely available for everyone to mess about with use, which allows us to see Mars not just through the eyes of scientists, but also through the eyes of fans and enthusiasts like myself, and real skilled artists like Damien.

In the days and weeks ahead, our view of those faraway hills will get better and better and better, until they dominate the horizon. Will Oppy reach them? Will she climb them? Will she look back on her Meridiani-crossing tracks from the summit of the hills? There’s no way of knowing.

But she’s on her way. And we’re all walking alongside her as she ticks off the metres and the kilometres. How amazing is that? 🙂 🙂

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1 Response to Ahead – the Hills of Endeavour…!

  1. Will says:

    It’s great! Opportunity is really moving on now.
    Impressive pictures too.

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