Rim of Endeavour on Opportunity's Horizon, Sol 2424
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used its panoramic camera to record this eastward view of the horizon on the 2,424th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (Nov. 18, 2010).
Portions of the rim of Endeavour Crater, several kilometers or miles in the distance, are visible at the left, middle and far-right of the image, rising above the Meridiani plain. Endeavour Crater is about 22 kilometers (14 miles) in diameter. The portion of the rim visible on the left in this image is at the northern edge of Endeavour. The portion in the middle of the image is on the crater's eastern edge of the crater. The portion at the far right is on the Endeavour's western rim, closer to Opportunity. An orbital view at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA11837 offers context.
The rover team chose Endeavour Crater as a long-term destination for Opportunity in mid-2008, after the rover had investigated the much-smaller Victoria Crater for two years. More than a year later, the goal became even more alluring when observations with the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, found clay minerals exposed on Endeavour's western rim. James Wray of Cornell University, and co-authors, reported observations of those minerals in Geophysical Research Letters in 2009. Clay minerals, which form under wet and relatively neutral pH conditions, have been found extensively on Mars from orbit but have not been examined on the surface. Additional observations with that spectrometer are helping the rover team choose which part of Endeavour's rim to visit first with Opportunity.
This view is presented in approximately true color by combining exposures taken through three of the panoramic camera's filters, admitting wavelengths of 752 nanometers, 535 nanometers and 432 nanometers.
Opportunity completed its three-month prime mission in April 2004 and has continued working in mission extensions since then.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University