Saturday, 17 June 2017

Mars Rover Opportunity's View of 'Orion Crater'

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NASA's Opportunity Mars rover passed near this small, relatively fresh crater in April 2017, during the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 16 mission to the moon. The rover team chose to call it "Orion Crater," after the Apollo 16 lunar module. The rover's Panoramic Camera (Pancam) recorded this view.

The crater's diameter is about 90 feet (27 meters). From the small amount of erosion or filling that Orion Crater has experienced, its age is estimated at no more than 10 million years. It lies on the western rim of Endeavour Crater. For comparison, Endeavor is about 14 miles (22 kilometres) in diameter and more than 3.6 billion years old.

This view combines multiple images taken through three different Pancam filters. The selected filters admit light cantered on wavelengths of 753 nanometres (near-infrared), 535 nanometres (green) and 432 nanometres (violet). The three colour bands are combined here to show approximately true colour.

The component images were taken on April 26, 2017, during the 4,712th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on Mars. T

Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke flew in the Orion lunar module to and from the first human landing in the lunar highlands while Ken Mattingly orbited the moon in the command module, Casper. On the moon, Young and Duke investigated Plum Crater, which is approximately the same size as Mars' Orion Crater.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.

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