So. Here we are.
Having landed in Eagle Crater in January 2004, in a cosmic “hole in one”… having then driven to and into the beautiful Victoria Crater… having then trekked across the vast dune sea of Meridiani Planum, passing many ancient meteorites along the way… having then triumphantly rolled up onto Cape York and then climbed the rim of Endeavour Crater, Opportunity is now starting a new adventure and beginning to explore Perseverance Valley, an ancient gully-like feature which meanders down the inner slope of Endeavour Crater.
When I got up and went online this morning at ridiculous o’clock as usual I was delighted to see new images had come down from Opportunity overnight, and I was able to stitch them together into an image that shows (I think) our first really clear view of Perseverance Valley. Opportunity is gazing downslope towards the crater floor far below, so, taking in the view during “solar conjunction” before moving on in early August.
This second image is the first one stretched vertically to bring out the structure of the valley…
You can see from the images that this is not a *gorge*. The sides of the gully are not really very steep, so when Opportunity gets down there it won’t be like she’s working her way down a toboggan run! I don’t think the topography of the valley is going to be very dramatic in terms of vertical relief. I think the beauty is going to be in the curves of the feature, following its “flow” as it meanders down to the crater floor.
Looking forward to getting going, but can’t begrudge Opportunity a rest. 🙂