The colours of Meridiani…

As Oppy prepares to depart from Santa Maria crater – and the latest word is that she’ll be leaving late next week – I thought I’d share a couple of images I’ve made showing the colours of Meridiani, the huge desert region Opportunity has been exploring since she landed in January 2004. Again, I have to add a disclaimer here: these are NOT 1000% accurate colourisations, I’m not claiming they are; this is just me playing about with Photoshop and trying to get something that looks approximately right, as far as colour is concerned, but, more importantly, b) aesthetically pleasing. Ok?

So, first, a recent view Oppy had of the ground “at her feet” as she rolled around Santa Maria… you’ll see the shadow of her camera mast and lots of “berries” (proper name: concretions)…

And here’s a very fanciful image I’ve made, showing what sunrise *might* look like for Oppy at the moment. I came up with this idea when I was using a website to “decode” the name of a MER image (breaking it up into the date it was taken, the angle, etc). I found that Oppy’s local sunrise was at 114 deg azimuth, and that figure sounded familiar for some reason… a bit of digging on Google Mars showed that 114 deg is almost the exact heading of the tallest hills on the farside of Endeavour, the ones with the big, circular and STILL UN-NAMED crater dug out of them! So, if I’ve got all this lined-up correctly, this is roughly what sunrise looks like for Oppy at the moment…

I fully accept that that is not an accurate colour representation, and the angles might be out a little bit, but seriously, I don’t care. It’s just an attractive, fantasy view, I think, and I hope some of you like it! 🙂

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