“Red Island” here we come…

It seems that Oppy WILL be driving closer to “Whateveritis” and examining it in more detail. Here’s the NASA Press Release:

PASADENA, Calif. — Images that NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity took at the end of an 81-meter (266-foot) drive on Sept. 16 reveal a dark rock about 31 meters (102 feet) away. The rover’s science team has decided to go get a closer look at the toaster-sized rock and determine whether it is an iron meteorite.

“The dark color, rounded texture and the way it is perched on the surface all make it look like an iron meteorite,” said science-team member Matt Golombek of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Opportunity has found four iron meteorites during the rover’s exploration of the Meridiani Planum region of Mars since early 2004. Examination of these rocks has provided information about the Martian atmosphere, as well as the meteorites themselves.

The newfound rock has been given the informal name “Oileán Ruaidh” (pronounced ay-lan ruah), which is the Gaelic name for an island off the coast of northwestern Ireland. The rock is about 45 centimeters (18 inches) wide from the angle at which it was first seen.

Excuse me while I compose myself.


That’s better.

So, let’s take a look at the latest pictures of “Oileán Ruaidh” (“Red Island”…) which I’ve enhanced to bring out some more detail.

Hmmm. Ol’ Red isn’t going to win any meteorite beauty contests, is she? It looks like she’s been almost chewed in half, like a shark-savaaged limb or something… Let’s take a look in 3D…

That central “cavity” really stands out in that view, doesn’t it? Really looking forward to some close-up views of that… And what does she look like in colour? Well, we’ve only got colour filter images of one small part of the meteorite so far, but here’s what I’ve been able to cobble together from them…

Looking forward to more detailed pics tomorrow. In the meantime, go here to learn more about the REAL “Red Island”…


UPDATE: Where IS “Red Island”?


I wonder what the people of the island think about having a little piece of Mars named after their home?

By the way, now NASA has started naming meteorites on Mars after Irish islands, I think it’s only fair that they should name the next one after the home of this legendary group of superheroes…

And if they don’t… well, we should hold a protest of some kind…


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1 Response to “Red Island” here we come…

  1. Paddy Doherty says:

    We love it as the outline depicts the outline of Oileán Ruaigh, or Island Roy as it is known in english. Tá athas and doamh oireann. translated we are very happy

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