A familiar place…

Ah… looking at that image, which is a view looking back towards the crater, showing her own wheel tracks leading up to its edge, it seems that Oppy has backed away from Santa Maria in anticipation of driving on to a nice, interesting spot to conduct her scientific study of the crater…

Here’s the wider angle view, which I stitched together and colourised from raws…

You’ll see that’s distorted – the horizon curves upwards, giving it something of a fisheye appearance. That’s something I can’t get around because of the limitations of my image software (and patience!!) so to see how it would REALLY look if you were there, standing beside Oppy right now, here’s a brilliant panorama by UMSF’s Mike Howard…

(Note: that’s a BIG file, 4Mb plus, so you absolutely have to click on it to see it in all its geological glory…)

I know what you’re thinking… “I bet that would look great in 3D…!” Yes, you’re right…!

Looking at, and making, these latest images I suddenly realised why Santa Maria is such an exiting, dramatic and familiar place… It feels like we’ve seen it before, doesn’t it? Even though we can’t possibly have done? I know why…

It’s because, with its steep walls and sharply upturned rim it looks exactly like the craters we used to draw as kids… and it looks like the craters shown on so many kids TV programmes from our childhoods…


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