Another look at Cape York…

There’s a very interesting discussion going on over on the forum, of which I am a longstanding and very proud member. As I mentioned in a previous post, a few of the UMSF members have worked together to make some new files for the popular “Google Earth” program which show, in great detail, the ground between where Oppy is now, at Santa Maria, and her destination – the small rocky “island” of Cape York on the western side of Endeavour crater. Well, another UMSF member has been looking at images of Cape York, and his calculations show that although Cape York looks like a rocky island, or mound, pushing straight up out of the flat plain surrounding the crater, it is – like the capes seen at Victoria Crater – actually more like a ledge, on the very, very gently dropping inner slope of Endeavour, jutting out slightly into the crater.

I thought I’d take a look at this using the Mars option on Google Earth, and yep, it seems to be the case…

Hmmm. Look at that… It means that Oppy won’t so much drive up to the top of Cape York to look out across the crater, it will drive across Cape York and look down across and into Endeavour.

I have to stress that it’s not like Cape York is a huge rocky overhang! The “drop”on the eastern side into the crater is very gentle. But it does make Cape York even more interesting, I think, because looking at these views I can’t escape the impression that Cape York was, at some time in its past, covered with material pushing in from the east, that then flowed up and over it and on down the other side…

It’s important to say that this is all just speculation, and that Google Mars – as brilliant as it is! – can’;t be relied on to render 1000% accurate views of the martian surface, for various technical reasons which bore me silly so I won’t inflict them on you! Suffice it to say that Cape York is a fascinating place, whatever and wherever it is, and if – IF – Oppy gets there I’m sure she’ll be rewarded with some fascinating science, too. 🙂

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1 Response to Another look at Cape York…

  1. Joel says:


    I live in south of France and I don’t speak english very well, sorry.

    I just want to tell you your website is fantastic because it’s very clear.

    Thank you very much for what you do.


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