Two weeks to go…

It’s hard to believe that in two weks time, Oppy will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of her landing on Mars, but it’s true. A decade ago we were all waiting anxioulsy for Oppy to enter the martian atmosphere, streak through it, inflate her air bags, drop to the surface, bounce across it and then… hopefully… stop safely and begin her mission. Obviously all those things happened because ten years later Oppy is slowly but surely working her way u to the top of Cape Tribulation, having made landfall at Solander Point, but it’s sobering and humbling to think that if any of those things hadn’t happened perfectly, Oppy would have smashed into the martian surface and all we’d be seeing from orbit would be a pile of shattered debris, scattered across the martian sands. What an adventure it’s been!

Now, OBVIOUSLY I’ll be writing a BIG post about the anniversary when it actually gets here, but for now here are a couple of colourisations I’ve made showing a rather bizarre-looking rock Oppy has come across up on the slopes. I’ll show you a black and white image of it first, just to set the context…

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How weird is that? What could it be? My gut instinct is to think it’s a hollowed-out meteorite of some sort, especially when you see it in colour…

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…but clearly more images are needed of that little guy before any useful speculation can begin. I’m sure they’ll be taken soon, that rock must have the geologists smiling like Cheshire Cats…

Looking up from the ground, Oppy can now see back to where she came from, all the way back to Cape York, and these are the views I’ve really been looking forward to! The images taken by Oppy over the last few days confirm a couple of things about Cape York. Firstly, it’s very short, in terms of height. As we approached it, back in August 2011 (what!!?!?!?!) we were all wondering if the Cape’s tallest parts would jut up from beyond the horizon like mountain peaks, but that didn’t happen; the Cape turned out to be really just a low rise in the landscape, a low rocky island in the Meridiani dust sea. Secondly, the new images confirm that, essentially, the Cape is on the INSIDE of Endeavour Crater’s great eroded rim, making it more like a ledge in the crater wall than a hill. Here, take a look… first, a panorama showing what Oppy sees…

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See Cape York, over on the right there? Small, isn’t it? Now, if you stretch that scene vertically you can really begin to appreciate the true nature of the Cape…

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Isn’t that fascinating! LOve that view, and really looking forward to making a colourised version of it when those filter sets come down.

So, there you are, some new images from Oppy. Again, apologies for the lack of updates, but sometimes real life has to take priority, and with a family bereavement to deal with at the moment I’m sure you – or most of you – will understand why I can’t update RtE daily right now. Be patient, more will come, and you’ll love the tenth anniversary tribute we have planned.

More soon…

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One Response to Two weeks to go…

  1. Pingback: Allgemeines Live-Blog vom 6.-10. Januar 2014 | Skyweek Zwei Punkt Null

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