Farewell Cambridge Bay…

Oppy’s scientific study of the area of exposed bedrock known as “Cambridge Bay” has finished, and she’s new heading east again towards Endeavour Crater. The ultimate martian Road Trip has resumed! đŸ™‚

Oppy is now heading towards flatter, less dust-dune covered ground, where the driving will get a lot less challenging (see how I deliberately didn’t use the word ‘easier’ there? No sense in poking Fate in the eye with a sharp stick, is there?)…

Up ahead? A lot flatter terrain, which Oppy will really enjoy driving across, and with fewer and smaller dust dunes to negotiate, our gal should start to clock up some pretty impressive drives soon. The last one was more than 80m, I believe, so could we see 100m drives in the not too distant future? Perhaps, we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, here’s one of the latest pics from Oppy, showing her own tracks leading off into the deep desert of Meridiani…

While I wait for new, more detailed Pancam images of the horizon to come back, I took up Emily Lakdawalla’s challenge over on UMSF to delve into the PDS image files – they’re the images that are calibrated and tidied up after months of work, as opposed to the rough and ready “cruddy” raw images which are posted almost in real time – and make some colour pics out of them. Emily has been saying for a while that the quality of the PDS images is so superior to the raws that it just makes no sense to use those raws when PDS files are available, but I was very reluctant to start using them because I was 1000% convinced that getting at that data was horrendously, frighteningly complicated. Answering my concerns, Emily posted a kind of “Idiot’s Guide” on UMSF, and after reading it through times, miracle of miracles I was able to access and, even better, make colour images, out of the picture files there. So, I now offer some comparisons between colour images of some old friends, created using the raw files (left), and the calibrated PDS files (right). See what you think…

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