Pancam Peek into 'Victoria Crater'(Right Eye)
A drive of about 60 meters (about 200 feet) on the 943rd Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's exploration of Mars' Meridiani Planum region (Sept. 18, 2006) brought the NASA rover to within about 50 meters (about 160 feet) of the rim of "Victoria Crater." This crater has been the mission's long-term destination for the past 21 Earth months. Opportunity reached a location from which the cameras on top of the rover's mast could begin to see into the interior of Victoria.
This mosaic was made from four frames taken on sol 943 by the panoramic camera (Pancam). It is the right-eye member of a stereo pair showing the upper portion of interior crater walls facing toward Opportunity from up to about 850 meters (half a mile) away. The amount of vertical relief visible at the top of the interior walls from this angle is about 15 meters (about 50 feet). The exposures were taken through a Pancam filter selecting wavelengths centered on 750 nanometers.
Victoria Crater is about five times wider than "Endurance Crater," which Opportunity spent six months examining in 2004, and about 40 times wider than "Eagle Crater," where Opportunity first landed. The great lure of Victoria is the expectation that a thick stack of geological layers will be exposed in the crater walls, potentially several times the thickness that was previously studied at Endurance and therefore, potentially preserving several times the historical record.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell
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