Something new…

For the past week or so, Oppy has been getting up close and personal with a bizarre-looking sharp outcrop of rock she found jutting up out of the surface of Cape York. She sent back countless images of it, from different heights and angles, revealing it, and in fact this whole area of Cape York, to be a truly beautiful place. Every day I’ve been processing these images, building up, piece by piece, a portrait of the area. There are still a few more bits of the puzzle to drop into place, but until they arrive here’s what I’ve got so far. Seriously, before you even click on it, go grab a tea or a coffee and get comfortable in front of your monitor, because this is a landscape you can, and will, lose yourself in once you start scrolling and panning around…

Now, Mars is NOT THAT RED, not in “real life”. That’s my equivalent of a ‘false colour image’, with everything exagerated to bring out the more subtle details which get lost in a more realistic rendering. But it’s absolutely stunning, don’t you think?

If you were to transport yourself to Oppy’s side, here’s what you’d actually see..

Confession #1: over on the right hand side of that image I had to fill in a small gap by cloning small pieces ofother parts of the image. Just a few rocks, just so there was no big white gap stuck in the middle, but if you find yourself thinking “Hang on, didn’t I see that rock over *there*..?” as you gaze at the image, that’s why!

Confesion #2: I am quite giddily proud of how well that image turned out, after a LOT of playing about with it, and I hope you like it! 🙂

But images sent back today suggest that Oppy has lost interest in that outcrop, and is now looking carefully at a very interesting round, flat plate of pale rock just above it, a little higher up the slope of Cape York’s eastern flank. Here’s the view from her forward facing hazard cameras…

In 3D it looks even more intriguing…

That’s a bit distorted, so let’s flatten it out a little…

But of course the best view would be a proper colour view… ok, seeing as you asked nicely…

Ok, I have *no* idea what the hell we’re looking at there. It’s either a really bad plastering job done by a gang of martian cowboy builders, or its a type of rock we haven’t seen yet. Let’s take a look at an enhanced version of that pic, changed back to black and white and then sharpened up and everything…

Hmmm. I reckon we’ll have some images of the rock’s surface taken through Oppy’s microscopic imager very soon, so keep checking back for those, ok?

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4 Responses to Something new…

  1. Birgit says:

    Super, Stuart, very nice !

  2. Andyj says:

    Seems the guys building the set didn’t have time to finish it before the Rover came. *wink*

  3. Harald Wolf says:

    Thanks again, Stuart, for your wonderful work and dedication.
    I could go so far as to say that this outcrop could, by itself, have justified the entire mission! Of course, these sites can’t be predicted from satellites, and it is only through rovering that they are stumbled upon. Having spent all this time circumnavigating and examining Cape York also allows the specialists to put this into context and come up with an evolutionary history of the place.
    As you and other diehards have stated, it is sad indeed that most people have forgotten about Oppy and are focusing on Curiosity which has yet to come close to finding this sort of exciting rock.
    I wish we had a dozen second generation of these proven rovers all over the planet, rather than putting so much hope into the much more sophisticated and expensive Curiosity.

  4. starbuck5250 says:

    Love being able to see how the rock provides shelter from the wind; the fine particles are in the lee. That flat plate looks exactly like the plaster dried before it was smoothed out – fantastic!

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