PIA06276: Crater of Clues
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Exploration Rover (MER)
Spacecraft: Opportunity
Instrument: Panoramic Camera
Product Size: 22780 x 2723 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Cornell University
Full-Res TIFF: PIA06276.tif (132.7 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA06276.jpg (6.655 MB)
QuickTime VR: PIA06276.mov (8.226 MB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Updated Caption: (View Original Caption)

Click on the image for Crater of Clues (QTVR)
Click on the image for Crater of Clues (QTVR)

figure 1 for PIA06276
Figure 1

Opportunity Escape Plan
The labeled image (see figure 1) from the panoramic camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the potential plan for Opportunity's exit from "Endurance Crater." Opportunity may attempt to leave Endurance via the route marked as the escape hatch, if scientists and engineers consider it safe after taking a closer look. Before leaving, however, scientists plan to investigate the rock to the right dubbed "Wopmay," measuring 1 meter (3.3 feet) across, as well as other rocks near "Burns Cliff." Scientists are interested in Wopmay because its unusual texture is unlike any others observed so far at Meridiani Planum. Once out of the crater, Opportunity may head to the heat shield, indicated on the left. This image was taken on the rover's 249th martian day, or sol (Sept. 14, 2004). This is an approximate true- color composite generated from the panoramic camera's 750-, 530-, and 430-nanometer filters.

figure 2 for PIA06276
Figure 2

Trekking Down 'Endurance'
The panoramic camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity produced this approximate true-color mosaic image from a position at the edge of "Endurance Crater." The image shows the "Karatepe" ingress, where the rover began its traverse down into the crater on sol 159 (July 5, 2004). The rover is currently about 10 meters (32.8 feet) into the crater. One of the major goals motivating the rover team to carefully drive the rover further down into the crater is to follow up on clues observed so far involving the element chlorine and the mineral pyroxene. The rover has found that chlorine and pyroxene (a signature of basaltic, or volcanic, rocks) increase in concentration with deepening layers of rock. Scientists also hope to study the dunes, or "ripples," visible at the bottom right of this image. These dunes show strong signatures for basalt and could further develop the history of this area of Meridiani Planum.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Cornell

Image Addition Date:
2004-06-16