Opportunity zooms in on Fin outcrop

Well. This is new.

Opportunity is now, I think it’s fair to say, parked up at that fascinating-looking outcrop with the big fin on its top, and sending back just beautiful images of it. Here’s a new colourisation I made of part of it… very pleased with the colours on this one, I think I’ve got it just about right…

Today we have the first images of the outcrop’s surface as seen by the rover’s Microscopic Imager, and they’re pretty spectacular. Here’s one of them, naked and raw, just as it was when it landed from Mars…

Now, some of these “MI” images can be stitched together to make larger mosaics. And with a little bit of “work” (boosting contrast, sharpening, etc) they really do turn into something quite lovely… see what you think (click to enlarge, as usual)…

I wonder how long it will be before someone declares these pictures show the fossilised remains of shellfish, or more of the infamous “crinoids” Opportunity saw once before, long, long ago..? Those structures you see on the rock aren’t fossils, the’re perfectly natural geological formations, ‘concretions/ that have either snapped off or eroded away (if I remember correcly, if I haven’t feel free to correct me!) So, no, these pictures DO NOT SHOW FOSSILS, ok? They show insead what a magnificent, epic planet Mars is, both in wide-angle and zoom-in views! 🙂

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6 Responses to Opportunity zooms in on Fin outcrop

  1. Hugo says:

    I think the spherules found at Meridiani Planum were thought to have been formed “in situ” and thus supported the theory that liquid water was present at the site at some time. If they had been found in layers that may have suggested they were formed during a meteorite impact or some volcanic activity. I guess that’s why they are so interested in these – to add further evidence, one way or the other.

  2. Jeff in SoCal says:

    I’ve never seen something like it before, but it appears that one of the concretions in your topmost mosaic has multiple concretions within it. Great work on those mosaics by the way, and great work on the blog in total. Thanks!

  3. Ildiko Ross says:

    Stu, I just want to thank you for following Oppy’s MI images so closely. Those pics you posted here and so promptly on UMSF of the “spherules” are amazing. Needless to say the MER team and Oppy are still going strong after eight years. I appreciate your discerning palette and the work that goes into processing the colour pics. Just goes to show what happens when you keep the faith (Oppy, MI), so to speak.

    • phoenixpics says:

      Thanks for that, appreciate the kind comments! I’ll keep walking alongside Oppy until she can rove no more, then I’ll sit beside her and keep her company until she ends her mission. 🙂

  4. Jesse Powell says:

    It’s too early to rule out biogenic processes. In fact, a new study in Geology (Weber et al., 2012)links formation of blueberry-like spherules on Earth to bacteria.

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