The Gully Beckons…

Opportunity is now enjoying a quite remarkable view of Endeavour Crater and the Meridiani Plain around it. Here’s my best effort at rendering that view by stitching together a number of individual pancam frames taken yesterday…

pano mar 9 crop bf4

Just look at that… That’s a view worthy of a rover which has spent 13 years exploring Mars, and is still going strong, isn’t it? The curve of the mountain range which forms the crater’s rim… the “next” crater south, Iazu, on the horizon… the Meridiani Plain pocked with craters… the slope leading down to where Opportunity will eventually explore the gully, which I’m pretty sure is now called “Perseverance Valley” but I’m waiting for confirmation on that. The last time I wanted to actually be on Mars this much, standing next to Opportunity with my hand resting on her back, seeing the view she was seeing, sharing it with her, was when she rolled up to the edge of Victoria Crater and gazed out across it, seeing this…

pano5

Opportunity is in a beautiful place now, she really is. I can’t wait for some more images to come back today, hopefully ones taken with different coloured filters which will allow me to make a colour version of the image shown up at the top of the page there.

I think the view Opportunity is seeing at the moment is so striking because it looks so familiar, it’s easy for people – everyone, not just spacey types – to appreciate and identify with. It shows hills… and we’ve all walked in, or seen, hills…. it shows a beckoning far horizon, and how many of you reading this have stood on the top of a hill, or just somewhere high, and gazed out at a faraway horizon just like it? It shows a lot of sky, and how many “Road to Endeavour” readers have stood somewhere with a fantastic view, for miles around, but been transfixed by the sight of an enormous, open sky above it?

What we can’t see yet is the gully Opportunity is heading for, I think it’s still hidden by the near horizon. As Oppy heads downhill we might catch a glimpse of it, but it’s just as possible that if she swings right and rolls down off the mountainside and onto the flat plain below, heading for one of the little craters out there, we won’t get to see the gully until she begins to head right for it. But that’s ok, I’m almost drooling imagining the views Oppy will send back of Endeavour’s rim from the plain…

So what can we see at the moment? And where are we? Take a look…

collage comp 2

I’m still a little reluctant to call the gully “Perseverance Valley” because I’ve not seen that name used for it officially anywhere, but I’m asking people and hope to hear soon.

Check back later for  the latest news on Oppy’s incredible journey…

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s