Everywhere you look today – on Twitter, Facebook, all the major science sites – there are pictures taken by the Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity. And rightly so – they’re gorgeous, self-portraits of the rover taken by a camera on the end of her robot arm. You can see them on my other blog, “The Gale Gazette”.
Meanwhile, ignored by almost all the science media, and most of the internet’s legion of space geeks, Opportunity has been studying and sending back pictures of an intriguing rocky outcrop that’s unlike anything ever seen before, a ridge of sharp, ancient rock, laced through in places with shiny mineral veins and dotted with countless spherules or “berries”. It’s a quite spectacular geological site, which the science team are obviously intrigued and excited by or they wouldn’t be spending so long here. I think there’s some seriously exciting science to be done, and discoveries to be made, here, and over the next few days we’ll get more and more images. But what we have been sent from Oppy already are pretty special. Here are a couple of new views… click to enlarge, of course…
That second image is easily one of my favourite of the mission so far. When I’d finished
messing about with it carefully editing it in my image processing programs, and *that* appeared, I literally sat back in my chair and shook my head in wonder and appreciation. Thank you, again, to the brilliant team behind the MER mission, and to the people on that team who made it possible for people like me to create these views, by releasing the images so quickly and generously, without any form of interference.