Astronomy Picture of the Day
September 11, 2014

Rover Tracks with Horizon and Sky - Sol 3754
Rover Tracks with Horizon and Sky - Sol 3754

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ. (ASU) and Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF for the additional process. and color.

This beautiful scene, which is a crop taken from an image-mosaic obtained by the Panoramic Camera (or "PanCam", for short) that is placed onboard the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity, looks back towards a portion of the Western Rim of Endeavour Crater, where the Rover drove along for some time, heading Southward, during the summer of the AD 2014.

The vista merges multiple PanCam exposures taken on August 15, 2014, such as during the 3.754th Martian Day, or Sol, of Opportunity's work on Mars. The highest point on the Rim, visible on the left (Sx) half of the scene, corresponds to the Southern End of the area that has been nicknamed "Murray Ridge".

More Rover Tracks from drives that were carried out from mid-July 2014, are faintly visible near there, and Tracks from subsequent drives advance to the foreground. For scale, the distance between Opportunity's parallel Wheel Tracks is about 3,3 feet (just a little more than 1 meter). The most distant visible Rover Tracks are from nearly half a mile (such as a little more than 800 meters) prior to Opportunity's arrival at the viewpoint from which this scene was recorded.

This picture (which is a crop taken from an Original "Approximate True Colors" Image taken by the NASA - Mars Exploration Rover (MER) - "Opportunity" on August, 15, 2014, published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal and identified by the ID n. PIA 18604) has been additionally processed, magnified in order to help the visibility of the Landscape's details, Gamma corrected and then re-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 the Sky above Endeavour Crater), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

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