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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Visit the NASA/JPL website to view more Astronomy Pictures of the Day

Astronomy Photo of the Day


OpportunitySol2476 Kremer 2019 670x196 Astronomy Picture of the Day

Opportunity at Santa Maria Crater
Credit: Mars Exploration Rover MissionNASAJPLCornellImage Processing: Marco Di Lorenzo, Kenneth Kremer

 

Explanation: Celebrating 7 years on the surface of the Red Planet, Mars exploration rover Opportunity now stands near the rim of 90 meter wide Santa Maria crater. Remarkably, Opportunity and its fellow rover Spirit were initially intended for a 3 month long primary mission. Still exploring, the golf cart-sized robot and shadow (far right) appear in the foreground of this panoramic view of its current location. The mosaic was constructed using images from the rover’s navigation camera. On its 7 year anniversary, Opportunity can boast traversing a total of 26.7 kilometers along the martian surface. After investigating Santa Maria crater, controllers plan to have Opportunity resume a long-term trek toward Endurance crater, a large, 22 kilometer diameter crater about 6 kilometers from Santa Maria. During coming days, communication with the rover will be more difficult as Mars moves close to alignment with the Sun as seen from planet Earth’s perspective.

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