A “hazardous” view…

Not scientifically important in any way, but it’s nice that even Oppy’s rear hazard cameras – the little ‘uns, mounted low on the chassis at the back – can now see the hills of Endeavour, too…

Here’s where the cameras are…

..and here’s the image in question…

Or rather, part of it that’ve messed about with; the hills are the dark smudgy line on the horizon over on the right there.Β I’ve taken the original image and flattened the horizon a bit, just to make the hills easier to spot, but they are there on the original, trust me! πŸ˜‰

Oppy’s front hazcam (front? Yes, front: she’s driving backwards at the moment, so the front hazcams are looking back at her tracks) also took this rather lovely image of the robot arm at dusk…

So, where is Oppy now? Well, she’s within a short drive of the start of that “pavement” area of bedrock plates, which will mean an end (yaaay!) to slogging through, over and around dunes for a while – maybe a long while. Here’s where she is now…

Looking at it from another point of view will make it cleare just how important – and exciting! – this leg of the journey will be…

You can see there quite clearly that once Oppy has crossed this roughly 1.5km wide swathe of rocky terrain, she’ll start to drive across a much smoother, much more rover-friendly part of Meridiani. How much smoother? Well, using the great IAS Viewer on the HiRISE website, we can see. The following images are all to the same scale…

Here’s what the ground Oppy has been traversing recently looks like to HiRISE…

The dunes are quite large and noticeable. Now, lets look at the ground just past the “pavement”…

Looks a lot flatter, doesn’t it? But it looks a lot better still when you take a closer look at the ground between there and Santa Maria…

Now that’s a LOT flatter, isn’t it? Good driving country, that! πŸ™‚

Just to make it easier to see the difference between the terrain types, here’s a composite pic…

Finally for this post, another view of That Crater, which I think really, really needs a name now, don’t you? πŸ™‚

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One Response to A “hazardous” view…

  1. Heimdall says:

    Thank you for your beautiful blog! This last post is fantastic, with the great context you provide, your enthusiasm, and the amazing photo of the evening sun.

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