Approaching the shore…

Oh, we are so close now, SO close… all being well, barring any last minute accidents or tech failures (and remember, there’s nothing Mars likes better than killing Terran spacecraft sent to try and uncover her secrets; she hates every bit of metal we send there and is seemingly obsessed with attempting to thward our exploration efforts) by the weekend Oppy will be rolling up to Spirit Point on the south tip of Cape York, ready to bein her scientific campaign to discover and then study clays on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

But before then the view will open up dramatically, as Oppy rolls up to and then through Botany Bay. In fact, the next set of images to come back should be…magnificent.

But that’s for the future. What has Oppy been up to since you last stopped by?

Well, she’s been sending back images, letting us catch up with her activities. FINALLY she sent back some of the images taken through her microscope. Images like this:

Now, that’s pretty amazing-looking, don’t you think? But using a bit of image manipulation trickery it’s possible to stitch together several of those into one image… like this (please click on it to enlarge it, and trust me, you’ll need to!)…

I’ve tracked down where that big clump of “berries” was on the plate of bedrock Oppy studied a few sols back… (circled)…

How about a nice, arty, tweaked-until-it-begged-for-mercy close-up of those berries? Oh, alright then…

Have to confess, I’m really pleased with that! 🙂

But what about the Bigger Picture? Well, here’s what Oppy has been seeing…

But back to the future… Oppy is now rolling towards Botany Bay and her date with Spirit Point, and destiny too. I’ve stitched together a whole bunch of HiRISE images to make one image showing the route ahead, and dropped onto that image some virtual Oppys (coloured red) which are at the correct scale. Click on this next image to – I hope! – get a better feel for the scale and terrain of the landscape ahead of Oppy as she closes in on Cape York (but please note, the “route” I’ve shonw is purely for convenience; I’m not suggesting FOR A MOMENT that this *isI the route Oppy will take, ok?)…

Finally for this time, a recommendation: if you want to read a super comprehenseive round-up of all the latest MER news, in incredible detail, written by a real journalist and not a mere blogger, then you really need to go over to The Planetary Society’s blog and read the latest MER Update by writer AJS Rayl. She is, simply, the best MER chronicler there is. Go. Go now!

Right, I’m off to check for more new pictures. See you all soon!

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One Response to Approaching the shore…

  1. Buck says:

    Magnificent blogger is more like it.

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