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'Beagle Crater' on Opportunity's Horizon (Orbital View)
'Beagle Crater' on Opportunity's Horizon (Orbital View)

This image from the Mars Orbiter Camera aboard NASA's Mars Global Surveyor highlights the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's approach toward "Beagle Crater."

North is to the left. Opportunity's locations at sols 804 (April 29, 2006) and 855 (June 20, 2006) are marked, as are the left and right edges of the rim of "Victoria Crater" from the rover's point of view. The labeled "promontory" is a bright spot that scientists originally thought was an outcrop on the far side of the crater, based on the single azimuth measurement on sol 804 (see PIA08447). But comparing the azimuth angle of this feature in the sol 855 panorama and the angle of the same feature in the sol 804 panoramic image (a process known as triangulation) revealed that this outcrop must instead be on the near rim of the crater. Marked in salmon are two small craters beyond Beagle crater that are on the dark "annulus," or ring, around Victoria Crater.

Victoria Crater is 730 meters to 750 meters (nearly half a mile) in diameter, about six times wider than "Endurance Crater," where Opportunity spent several months in 2004 examining rock layers affected by ancient water.

This image is an uncalibrated version that the rover team uses for planning. It has been reprojected and stretched in some places and isn't used for scientific purposes.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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