Opportunity's Close-up of 'Oileán Ruaidh' (Left Eye)
An iron meteorite is the latest quarry for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.
The rover's cameras revealed the meteorite on its trek to its long-term destination, Endeavour crater, in images taken on Sol 2363 (Sept. 16, 2010), the 2,363rd Martian day of the rover's mission on Mars. This view was taken with the navigation camera on Sol 2368 (Sept. 21, 2010), after a drive the preceding sol to get close to the rock. The meteorite is about half a meter (20 inches) long. This image is the left-eye member of a stereo pair.
The science team used two tools on Opportunity's arm -- the microscopic imager and the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer -- to inspect the rock's texture and composition. The team informally named the rock "Oileán Ruaidh" (pronounced ay-lan ruah), which is the Gaelic name for an island off the coast of northwestern Ireland.
Opportunity departed Oileán Ruaidh and resumed its journey toward Endeavour on Sol 2374 (Sept. 28, 2010) with a drive of about 100 meters (328 feet).
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech