Oppy New Year!

…. sorry, sorry, I just couldn’t resist it. I saw the words and my brain just went “What the hell…!” Yes, I’ll do better next time, I promise… ๐Ÿ™‚

So, here we are, 2011, and Oppy has not only reached Santa Maria crater, but is now clearly scootling her way around it, heading for that small, circular, flattened area on the south edge that has all the scientists so excited. But before we take a look at that, here are “portraits” of a couple of the large rocks scattered around Santa Maria…

Now, that picture, above, is a mosaic of two of the most recent images to come back from Oppy, and it shows what appears to be a small craterlet up ahead. I reckon this has to be the small crater on Santa Maria’s south side, which shows up so clearly on HiRISE images…

Here’s a wide angle 3D view…

… and a narrower angle view, too…

Oppy will continue on past that crater and carry on following the edge of the crater, until she reaches a small, depressed area called “Yuma”, which – according to observations carried out from orbit – is rich in minerals affected by water in Mars’ ancient past.

More soon.

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One Response to Oppy New Year!

  1. J. Major says:

    That’s a great 3D image of the rock up there Stu! Really pops nicely. ๐Ÿ™‚

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