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At Bright Band Inside Victoria Crater
Layer of rock exposed inside Victoria Crater

A layer of light-toned rock exposed inside Victoria Crater in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars appears to mark where the surface was at the time, many millions of years ago, when an impact excavated the crater. NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity drove to this bright band as the science team's first destination for the rover during investigations inside the crater. Opportunity's left front hazard-identification camera took this image just after the rover finished a drive of 2.25 meters (7 feet, 5 inches) during the rover's 1,305th Martian day, or sol, (Sept. 25, 2007). The rocks beneath the rover and its extended robotic arm are part of the bright band.

Victoria Crater has a scalloped shape of alternating alcoves and promontories around the crater's circumference. Opportunity descended into the crater two weeks earlier, within an alcove called "Duck Bay." Counterclockwise around the rim, just to the right of the arm in this image, is a promontory called "Cabo Frio."

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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