Categories: Mars

Opportunity’s Breathtaking View from Atop Cape Tribulation

Imagine if you were standing on Mars, beside the Opportunity rover, high on the summit of Cape Tribulation. You don’t have to leave too much to the imagination, thanks to imaging enthusiast Stu Atkinson. He’s put together a magnificent colorized version of Oppy’s recent panoramic view, atop the highest elevation that the rover will ever reach, perched on the west rim of Endeavour crater.

Click the image for the full view.

It’s quite the spectacular view for the rover that keeps going and going, with over 11 years of trekking across Mars. You can see haze and hills off in the distance, and a horizon that continues to beckon. According to Larry Crumpler from the MER science team, if you look closely at the image — from Oppy’s viewpoint — you can see all the way to the other side of the crater.

“We can see the rim looking north along the path to this location, and we can see far to the south, including another large impact crater that lies 10 km or so south of Endeavour,” Crumpler wrote in the rover field reports published on the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science’s website.

Here’s a map created by Crumpler of the Opportunity rover’s location at Cape Tribulation:

A map showing the location on the local summit of Cape Tribulation (1 m contours) and the geology up to this location. Credit: Larry Crumpler/MER Science Team/New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science.

And here’s the black and white panorama from Arizona State Univerity:

Sol 3906, January 19, 2015. Summit panorama from Cape Tribulation from the Opportunity Mars Rover. Credit: NASA/Arizona State University.

Stu wrote poetically about the image on his website, explaining that the rover is looking down from the summit of Cape Tribulation, “with gorgeous views of the rim of Endeavour on the farside of the crater and of her tracks leading back down the hill to the great Merdiani Plain far below.”

Stu also explained his motivation for the work he does in enhancing the raw images sent from Mars:

What I try to create with my images is a vision of Mars, something that puts across – hopefully – the beauty of the planet and its landscapes. So my images are not photo-realistic, and I don’t claim them to be, but they, I hope, one person’s depiction of Mars which reflect the planet’s incredible raw beauty and nobility.

We only hope Stu, that like the rover, you keep going and going with your image processing wizardry too!

For more information on the Opportunity rover, you can see the following links for Opportunity raw images, its latest mission status, a location map.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004. She is the author of a new book on the Apollo program, "Eight Years to the Moon," which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible. Her first book, "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond.

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