This 3-D Martian Picture Feels Like You’re Standing Beside The Opportunity Rover

Grab your 3-D glasses (you do have a pair handy, right?) and take a look at this latest vista from Mars. This is a view taken by the Opportunity rover that looks at a location nicknamed “Wdowiak Ridge”, on the rim of Endeavour Crater.

This mosaic was obtained Sept. 17 as Opportunity continued its journey to “Marathon Valley”, a spot that could hold clays (which would indicate a water-rich environment in the past.) The rover is more than a decade into its mission and has been sending back images amid battling Flash memory problems lately.

Check out more recent pictures below, including a probable one of Comet Siding Spring passing by Mars (which Bob King wrote about in detail earlier this week.)

“Wdowiak Ridge sticks out like a sore thumb.  We want to understand why this ridge is located off the primary rim of Endeavour Crater and how it fits into the geologic story of this region,” stated Jim Rice, the Opportunity science-team of the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona.

More specifically, the team is interested in why this ridge is so prominent and sharp — they are calling it one of the most distinctive features Opportunity has ever seen. How it resisted erosion in an area so worn down is one thing scientists are hoping to learn about.

A Martian mosaic showing “Wdowiak Ridge”, which the Opportunity rover imaged Sept. 17, 2014. The rover’s tracks are visible at right. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.

The last Opportunity rover update talks about activities through Sept. 30, but NASA has released raw images available since then. Check out a selection below.

Is this an image of Comet Siding Spring? It’s the only fuzzy object in the field photographed on Sol 3817 (October 19) by the Opportunity Rover. Click for original raw image.
The Opportunity rover at work on Mars on Sol 3,817 in October 2014. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
An image of Martian terrain with the Opportunity’s rover solar panel just visible at the bottom of the panel. Picture taken Sol 3,817 in October 2014. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
A dramatic, shadowy picture showing part of the Opportunity rover on Mars lit by the Sun (at top). Picture taken Sol 3,812 in October 2014. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The Opportunity rover’s tracks dominate this image taken on Mars on Sol 3,807 in October 2014. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

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