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Press Release Images: Opportunity
11-Mar-2004
Spirit Looks Down Into Crater After Reaching Rim
Full Press Release
Deimos Crosses Face of Sun
Deimos Crosses Face of Sun

This image shows the passing, or transit, of the martian moon Deimos over the Sun. This event is similar to solar eclipses seen from Earth in which our Moon crosses in front of the Sun. The image was taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on sol 39 of its mission. Deimos passed slightly closer to the center of the Sun than expected, and arrived about 30 seconds early. This observation will help refine our knowledge of the orbit and position of Deimos.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Martian Moon Blocks Sun-1
Martian Moon Blocks Sun

This image shows Mars' moon Phobos partially blocking the Sun. It was taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the morning of the 45th martian day, or sol, of its mission. This observation will help refine our knowledge of the orbit and position of Phobos. Other spacecraft may be able to take better images of Phobos using this new information. This event is similar to solar eclipses seen on Earth when our Moon passes in front of the Sun.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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Martian Moon Blocks Sun
Martian Moon Eclipsing Sun, in Stages

This panel illustrates the transit of the martian moon Phobos across the Sun. It is made up of images taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the morning of the 45th martian day, or sol, of its mission. This observation will help refine our knowledge of the orbit and position of Phobos. Other spacecraft may be able to take better images of Phobos using this new information. This event is similar to solar eclipses seen on Earth in which our Moon passes in front of the Sun. The images were taken by the rover's panoramic camera.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

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Here-a-Hematite, There-a-Hematite
Here-a-Hematite, There-a-Hematite

These maps, created with data from the miniature thermal emission spectrometer, an instrument located on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's panoramic camera mast assembly, show the hematite abundance as detected by the instrument from inside the crater at Opportunity's landing site. Hematite data was taken at infrared wavelengths to create these maps, which have been superimposed on images from the rover's navigation camera to provide the visual context of how the hematite is distributed across the martian surface. The hematite abundance has been color-coded, with blue showing relatively no abundance to red showing about 20 percent abundance. Each roughly circular spot represents a single observation by the instrument.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/ASU
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Puzzling Patches of Hematite
Puzzling Patches of Hematite

These maps, acquired from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity prior to the rover's roll-off, are shown along with data collected at the five locations the rover visited along the Meridiani Planum rock outcrop (dubbed "Alpha," "Bravo," "Charlie," Delta," and "Echo"). The data, collected by the rover's miniature thermal emission spectrometer, has been superimposed on images taken by the navigation camera. The areas investigated are different sizes because of the differing distances from the rover. The bright red region behind the rover has one of the highest hematite concentrations observed in the crater. The areas on the floor of the crater and in the outcrop that the rover has been sampling have much lower hematite concentrations than those found on the surrounding plains. Data from the miniature thermal emission spectrometer show that the floor of the crater is covered with basaltic sand.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/ASU
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Hematite Abundance Map at Echo
Hematite Abundance Map at Echo

This image shows the hematite abundance map for a portion of the Meridiani Planum rock outcrop near where the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity landed. It was acquired by the rover's miniature thermal emission spectrometer instrument from a spot called "Echo." Portions of the inner crater wall in this region appear rich in hematite (red). The sharp boundary from hematite-rich to hematite-poor (yellow and green) surfaces corresponds to a change in the surface texture and color. The hematite-rich surfaces have ripple-like forms suggesting wind transported hematite to these surfaces. The bounce marks produced during landing at the base of the slope on the left are low in hematite (blue). The hematite grains that originally covered the surface were pushed below the surface by the lander, exposing a soil that has less hematite.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/ASU
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The Minerals at 'El Capitan'
The Minerals at 'El Capitan'

The white curve in this image shows the spectrum, or light signature, of a region of rock outcrop dubbed "El Capitan" near the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's landing site. The data were taken by rover's miniature thermal emission spectrometer instrument, located on its panoramic camera mast assembly. This spectrum can be recreated or modeled (green) by combining the spectra of sulfates (yellow), silicates (blue), and oxide minerals.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/ASU/Cornell
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Footprints from Above
Footprints from Above

The white boxes in this figure indicate the "footprints" of the Mars Global Surveyor thermal emission spectrometer data over the Opportunity landing site, indicated by a black dot. The footprints to the left of the site were acquired as the spacecraft approached. The line through the rover (shown by a dot), was acquired as the spacecraft passed overhead. The footprints to the right were acquired as the orbiter's instrument looked backward during departure.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/ASU
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A Full Profile on Mars Temperature
A Full Profile on Mars Temperature

This figure shows the first ever atmospheric temperature profile measured from the top of the Mars atmosphere all the way to the surface. It was made using the combination of a temperature measurements derived from the Mars Global Surveyor thermal emission spectrometer (lines) and temperature measurements from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's miniature thermal emission spectrometer instrument (dots). The orbiter's instrument can measure the temperature downward from the top of the atmosphere, but cannot see accurately all the way to the ground. From its position on the martian surface, the rover's instrument can measure the temperature looking upward, but can only see to about 6 kilometers (4 miles) high. The region where these two measurements cross (about 4 to 6 kilometers or 2.5 to 4 miles above the martian surface) match very closely. The region also provides the first ever profile that extends from about 60 kilometers (37 miles) above the surface all the way down to the surface. Temperatures are indicated in degrees Kelvin.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Goddard/ASU/Cornell
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