Astronomy Picture of the Day
July 7, 2013

Southward View - Sol 3355
Southward View - Sol 3355

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech - Credits for the additional process. and color.: Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF

This very suggestive picture shows us some of the Terrain that the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity is crossing in a (always relatively speaking) flat area of Endeavour Crater, called "Botany Bay", and located on the way toward "Solander Point," which is visible on the horizon.

The NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity used its Rear Hazard-Identification Camera (or HazCam, for short) to record this Southward view at the end of a drive covering about 387 feet (such as a little less than 118 meters) and which took place on the 3.355th Martian Day (or Sol) of Opportunity's work on Mars (such as July, 2nd, 2013 on Earth). Rover planners have been driving Opportunity in reverse, with the aim of to mitigatating a little bit the normal wearand tear on the Front - and so-called - "Wheel Actuators". For scale, the distance between the two Rear Wheels visible in the foreground is about 3,3 feet (a little more than 1 meter). The underside of Opportunity's Deck is visible at the top of the image. The Surface that the Rover (MER) Opportunity is driving upon, while crossing Botany Bay, is a Mosaic Pavement of fractured, light-toned Bedrock (---> the so-called "Martian Paving" of Meridiani Planum). A mixture of dark-toned Basaltic Soil and small Spherules - nicknamed "Blueberries" - fills-up most of the Cracks existing between the Bedrock pieces and, here and there, also thinly covers some of the Bedrock itself.

This frame (which is an Original NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) "Opportunity" b/w image published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal and identified by the ID n. PIA 17271) has been additionally processed, magnified and then colorized in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a normal - meaning "in the average" - human eye would actually perceive if someone were on the Surface of Mars, near the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity, and then looked ahead, towards the Horizon and Sky over Endeavour Crater), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

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