The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera detailed the entire 800-meter (roughly half-mile) Victoria crater and the rover -- down to its rover tracks and shadows -- in a single high-resolution image taken Wednesday (Oct. 3).
Victoria Crater, October 3rd, 2006 as seen by the
High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE)
Alfred S. McEwen of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory released portions of the image that show views of the rover and crater at a NASA press conference in Washington, D.C., today. McEwen is principal investigator for HiRISE, which is operated from UA's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson.
"We're poised to have a fantastic mission, and we're not even at prime science mission yet," McEwen said at the NASA press briefing this morning. "This was our very first attempt to image 'off-nadir' (at an angle as opposed to straight down), and it worked fabulously well," McEwen added. "It's been an exciting week."
The HiRISE images for Victoria crater are available online at http://hiroc.lpl.arizona.edu/images/TRA/TRA_000873_1780/
Opportunity drove nine kilometers (more than five miles) to Victoria crater, an impact crater at Meridiani Planum, near Mars' equator. The HiRISE camera took its picture five days later, at 3:30 p.m. local Mars time, as the sun was about 30 degrees above the horizon, illuminating the scene from the west. The NASA orbiter was flying 297 kilometers (185.6 miles) above the planet's surface. The HiRise camera is able to resolve objects that are 89 centimeters (35 inches) across at that altitude.
The high resolution of the HiRISE image enabled Opportunity's mission planners on Wednesday (Oct.4) to identify specific rover-scale targets of interest as they planned that day's drive. It is a first in the exploration of Mars.
Opportunity has since driven north to the tip of the Cape Verde promontory, where the rover will take images of the crater interior.
HiRISE's stunning overview of Victoria crater shows a distinctive scalloped shape to its rim. This is formed by eroding crater wall material moving downhill. Layered sedimentary rocks are exposed along the inner wall of the crater, and boulders that have fallen from the crater wall are visible on the crater floor. A striking field of sand dunes covers much of the crater floor.
"The ground-truth we get from the rover images and measurements enables us to better interpret features we see elsewhere on Mars, including very rugged and dramatic terrains that we can't currently study on the ground," McEwen said.
"But stay tuned," McEwen said at the press conference. "If you think this HiRISE image is spectacular, just wait."
Images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment and additional information about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are available online at: http://www.nasa.gov/mro and http://HiRISE.lpl.arizona.edu
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace Corporation and is operated by The University of Arizona.
Lori Stiles | University of Arizona
Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State
What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?
02.12.2016 | University of Toronto
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy