On our way..?

I think… I *think*.. Oppy has left Nobby’s Head and is on her way to Solander Point, that’s how I’m interpreting the latest images anyway. There’s been a definite change in the rocks and terrain at Oppy’s feet that suggests to me she’s either about to roll off Nobby’s Head or already has done and is now driving across more open ground towards Cape Tribulation, heading south again.

Here are some images, mosaiced together, which I didn’t have time to post yesterday morning before I went to work. They show Oppy was surrounded by the low mound… hills… whatevers that are grouped together at the southern end of Nobby’s Head…

Untitled-1b

Here’s a 3D view of Oppy’s view over one of those low hills and down into Endeavour Crater. Love the perspective and depth of field on this – and note how we can see bright dunes at the foot of the hills on the faraway horizon, very cool…!

3d1

Then, this morning, another batch of images came back and I’m pretty sure that they show Oppy has driven away from her previous parking spot and has headed south. I think this because the crater we previously saw almost next to Oppy is now clearly behind her, and those tracks are a bit of a giveaway too…

away

And the view ahead has changed subtly too. Take a look at this panorama, and note how the ground itself – the textures, shapes, features etc – have changed from those seen on previous views…

Untitled-2b

I just want to pause a moment here and show a view of a different part of Mars, just to show you the very stark differences between them. This next image is a mosaic of half a dozen images taken by the *other* Mars rover, Curiosity, which is exploring Gale Crater. Just look at this and, even ignoring the fact that it’s in colour, just look at how many different rock types there are onview… how many different shapes, textures and forms of rock there are. Then think about what we’re seeing on the rim of Endeavour, where the rocks are small and few and far between, where the landscape is dominated by very heavily-eroded, flat plates of rock, where ledges and outcrops are small and subdued.. clearly two very, very different geological stories being told…

gale pan

Ok, back to our scheduled programming… ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, I think we’re on our way, or about to set off on our way. Either way, things are changing and we’re about to enter yet another “whole new phase” of Oppy’s exciting mission. Solander Point is up ahead, still quite a way, but it somehow feels closer now don’t you think? The latest views…

sp-1

…and in 3D…

3d sp

I’ll be very interested to see what Eduardo Tesheiner’s next Opportunity Route update shows, because I might be wrong about this but I think Nobby’s Head is falling away behind us now, and we’re off to Solander Point! ๐Ÿ™‚

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2 Responses to On our way..?

  1. Astro0 says:

    Yeah baby! She’s rollin’ the rocky trail to Solander Point. More science discoveries – here we come!
    Thanks for your RtE blog as always.

  2. Birgit says:

    Well, Stu, a warmly daily Report over our “Veteran ” Oppy, that is great, thank you !

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