Where is Oppy going?

Oppy is now working her way around Nobby’s Head, and should soon have a clear view of the road ahead to Solander Point, her landfall destination at the northern end of Cape Tribulation. So, time to catch our breath and just see where we are and where we’re going.

First of all, let’s take a look at just where Oppy is now…

nh 3333I’ve put south at the top of that image, just because it feels more natural to have our direction of travel going bottom to top, so you can see that Oppy is working her way around the western flank of Nobby’s Head, a small rocky island which is yet another eroded section of the original raised rim of mighty Endeavour Crater. At that scale and resolution NH doesn’t look that impressive, I know… but when you look at it in more detail it’s a fascinating place in its own right. I’ve made a high resolution image of it by combining magnified crops of HiRISE images. Click on the next image to see Nobby’s Head in all its geological glory!

NH detailLots of ridges, ledges and outcrops there for Oppy to get stuck into… but she won’t, she’s not going to stop here for any length 0f time; her sights are set firmly on Solander Point, a couple of months’ drive further south. We’ll look at that in a moment, but I just wanted to show you a colourised view I made of some of the rocks Oppy saw as she rolled down the side of Sutherland Point a few days ago, it was a really pretty view I think…

rocks pan2I LOVE rockscapes like that, they make me want to dive into the screen and spend hours wandering around looking at the boulders and stones, lifting them up, examining their etched and worn faces, running my  fingers over them and wondering how long they’ve sat there on the surface of Mars…

But those rocks are behind Oppy now, she’s heading south towards her next landfall site – Solander Point. Where exactly is this in the bigger picture. This next image makes it clear. Remember, Oppy was exploring Cape York between August 2011 and just a couple of weeks ago. She’s now rolling around and past Nobby’s Head, and after leaving Nobby’s Head will head south to Solander Point, a tapering rocky feature at the northern end of Cape Tribulation

labelsThat’s the view from above. Earlier today some images came back from Oppy which I’ve made into what I think is a rather nice seeeping panorama, which isn’t just pretty but shows very well Oppy’s destination up ahead…

destinationNow, because of Oppy’s position and line of sight, Solander Point and Cape Tribulation seem to be on top of each other, so zooming in on the central section of that, let’s add some labels to see exactly where Oppy is heading…

destination lActually, if we stretch the previous panoramic view you really appreciate how all this works out…

destination strSo, there you go, that’s where we are. But where are we going? Here’s a high resolution view of Oppy’s next landfall site – Solander Point…

pano_spWow… there’s a LOT going on up there isn’t there? I think we’re going to see some fascinating geology once Oppy gets her wheels up on that rocky ramp!

But that’s for the future. At the moment Oppy is patiently working her way around Nobby’s Head, and more images should be back soon, so check back again when you can to see those.

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