Creeping up on Ruiz…

Well, that just shows what I know! Instead of continuing on around Santa Maria’s rim, to shoot some more wide angle portraits of the crater, Oppy has dipped slightly into the crater, edging a little way down the sloping bank of “Yuma” to take a closer look at the rock Ruiz Garcia…

Someone on the MER team must have decided there was something interesting enough about Ruiz Garcia to justify a quick peek, and here is that quick peek…

… and the view in 3D…

Other images show Oppy has placed her robot arm and its instrument package close to the rock, so it looks like this isn’t just going to be a drive-by imaging. Another brushing? Another RATting? We’ll just have to wait and see…

In the meantime, talking about Oppy’s RAT activities, a new page has been added to the official MER PANCAM website – which displays a huge number of calibrated images taken by the rovers – featuring a gallery of images taken by Oppy’s MI, or Microscopic Imager. Not just any old images mind – these are fully calibrated AND colourised, accurately and quite beautifully, too!

Go to the website ( http://marswatch.astro.cornell.edu/pancam_instrument/images/merges/merges.html ) and you’ll see lots and lots of simply beautiful images taken by Oppy (Spirit’s will follow, I’m, sure!) It didn’t take me long to realise that some of them can be joined together to make mosaics, so I decided to do just that with some pics of a hole called “Lemon Rind” that Oppy ground out of a rock christened “Fruit Basket”, which she studied just 560 days after landing.

Here’s one of the images from the page…

…so I added three more images of the same feature, stitched tem together to make a mosaic, and then essentially played about with the lighting and levels until I got something that made me sit back in my chair and think “Yes… oh yes… that’s it…” Here it is, you’ll have to click on it to enlarge it, as usual…

Now, I have to be totally honest, I’m absolutely delighted and thrilled by that!! Usually I think, “yeah, that’s ok, I suppose” but when I look at that I just can’t help thinking how BEAUTIFUL it is, like a huge martian stained glass window… But it’s not glass, of course, it’s rock, rock cut, etched and polished by an amazingly versatile and resilient robot from Earth…

Look at that picture again. That’s art, on Mars, right there. In a couple of hundred years time, just as we now display petroglyphs and cave art, these RAT holes will be on display in museums and galleries, I swear, on Earth and Mars, sculptures created by amazing robots, designed and built by amazing people.

How amazing is that?

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2 Responses to Creeping up on Ruiz…

  1. Buck says:

    Gorgeous!

  2. That is beautiful. Been trying to work out how to mimic the texture & colour. Would make a perfect centre piece on a necklace!

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