A worthy destination..?

Hey… we’re now less than 100 days away from Curiosity’s landing on Mars… think about that…!!

Meanwhile, actually ON Mars, Oppy has been busy the last few sols. Not so much moving about… not yet… but taking lots of images, both of the ground around her, and of the terrain up ahead – and it looks like the MER team are interested in the hillier, rockier ground to Greeley Haven’s north, specifically a ridge of ground that leads down from where Oppy is now to the northern edge of Cape York. They’ve named (unofficially of course, as usual) the highest part of this ridge “Mt Goldsworthy”. Why? I don’t know, I’ll try and find out, but the important thing is that with these images of Mt Goldsworthy, and the recent photo reconaissance of Whim (“the notch”) Creek, the team are now very obviously scouting-out the ground to the north and the north east and maybe even putting together a route to and between them. I might be adding two and two and getting five there, but it would make sense – if they want to find more Homestake-like veins of gypsum (as they’ve said they do), and if they want to check out sites of geological interest (which is what Oppy’s there for) then heading north to the top’shore’ of Cape York, via Mt Goldsworthy, and then turning towards the Creek would make sense.

We’ll look at that possible route later. For now, here’s what has been attracting Oppy’s attention…

And where is that feature in relation to where Oppy is now? The next pic will show you, and also shows where it is in relation to “Whim Creek”…

…which suggests that the next stage of Oppy’s trek around Cape York MIGHT look something like this…

So, what’s so interesting about Mt Goldsworthy? It doesn’t look much on that picture, does it? Well, there must be somthing interesting up ahead because Oppy was instructed to take more than a dozen pictures of Goldsworthy, to enable the MER team to make a so-called “Super Resolution” view of it. I can’t quite manage that, but I can stack a few of those images together to make a singe “Better Resolution” view, and here it is…

Stretch that a little and you get a better idea of the “lie of the land” up ahead…

Would you like to see a colour view of that area? Of course you would… here you go…

You’ll have noticed a couple of dark trails snaking across that image..? Enlarge it by clicking on it and you’ll see those trails lead to two tiny virtual Opportunitys, I added them to help give a sense of scale to the landscape up ahead.

But I know what would *really* help… a 3D view, right? Ok…

Enlarge that image and you’ll get a good idea of how the land drops down to the north. I think Oppy will have some lovely views if she heads that way.

…but when might that be? Probably we’re still looking at June as the earliest time for Oppy to finally roll off Greeley Haven and get roving again, I haven’t heard any different anyway. And I know, I know, sitting here in one place is a bit… well, ok, let’s use the word, boring, but just because the view isn’t changing doesn’t mean Oppy’s not doing anything! She’s been conducting this very important “radio science” campaign, and I understand that Matt Lenda will be writing a BIG post about that on his great blog in the imminent future. When he does I’ll post a link to it here, because all that radio/Doppler stuff is waaaaaaaaay over my head, I’ll admit, and Matt will be able to explain it far better than I could ever even try to.

Anyway, that’s the latest from the edge of Endeavour Crater, on the Meridiani Plain on Mars. Check back for another update soon – and, again, thanks very much for dropping by my blog, I appreciate every visit.

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1 Response to A worthy destination..?

  1. Pingback: Was Opportunity an Endeavours Rand entdeckte « Skyweek Zwei Punkt Null

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