Sometimes the Martian surface can look pretty bleak and uninspiring. But then, there are those images that come from NASA’s Opportunity rover that just wow you! This image released by NASA came from Opportunity’s Pancam does just that! This image is a composite of about a dozen images from the basin of the Endeavour crater taken in multiple wavelengths during the Martian sunset. The different wavelengths allow for increased contrast between different regions in the crater such as the rocky terrain at the base of the rover to the dunes, and the eastern rim in the background. The Endeavor crater is 14 miles (22 kilometers) across which is big enough to cover the entire area of Seattle! The resilient Opportunity rover has been roaming the Red Planet’s surface for an amazing eight years and still produces amazing images and useful science! It’s successor, the Curiosity rover, will touch down on Mars on August 5th, 2012 via live video stream from an on-board camera so you won’t want to miss that!
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ