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Look closely at this picture of Victoria Crater on Mars. Clicking on the picture will give you a really big file, but a much better look. There are a number of things you can see in this view of Victoria that you could not see on earlier version because this is a somewhat oblique view. The details are in the press release I reproduce below the fold. But the other thing you can see that is REALLY FREAKIN’ COOL is the mars rover tracks running along one side of the crater! Go ahead, see if you can find them!

Mars Orbiter Shows Angled View of Martian Crater

TUCSON, Ariz. — The high-resolution camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has returned a dramatic oblique view of the Martian crater that a rover explored for two years.

The new view of Victoria Crater shows layers on steep crater walls, difficult to see from straight overhead, plus wheel tracks left by NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity between September 2005 and August 2007. The orbiter’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera shot it at an angle comparable to looking at landscape from an airplane window. Some of the camera’s earlier, less angled images of Victoria Crater aided the rover team in choosing safe routes for Opportunity and contributed to joint scientific studies.

More info and picture here.

Comments

  1. #1 gruebait
    August 13, 2009

    Wow. Just Wow.

    I have to say, though, my loudest wow over an LRO image will likely remain over the one that captured the Phoenix lander descending under its parachute.

    The idea of the rovers trundling about over 10 minutes away is awesome. For Years. And we get to watch. Wow.

  2. #2 Nathan Myers
    August 13, 2009

    What I wonder looking at this picture is, are those dunes in the crater bottom, as we’re assured, or fulgurite analogs? I honestly don’t know, and would really like to know. Can’t we ski one of those rovers into a crater and check it out?

    What I do know for certain is that those mile-wide sinuous channels all over the moon, Mars, and Mercury aren’t any collapsed lava tubes. A mile-wide lava tube is physically impossible.

  3. #3 Pierce R. Butler
    August 14, 2009

    “Vic Crater” would be a good name for an action-movie star.

    Being a spoiled-rotten American, I’ve come to expect – as an intrinsic right! – that a web post with the words “More info and picture here” should have, like, a link somewhere. Waaah!

  4. #4 DuWayne
    August 15, 2009

    It is shit like this (and Jason’s posted video of what we saw, when we pointed Hubble at “nothing”) that help make up for some of the horrible thing us cognizant critters do to each other and makes me glad to be human. We did this. Not some magical being, not some random natural event – human fucking beings did this. Because we can and because we wanted to know what it there. And not only have we looked at what’s there, in this case we have also altered the landscape in so looking.

    We, who just mere moments ago, in relative terms, were walking about on four legs and dodging the smaller scavenger dinosaurs (who though it was little consolation to our wee ancestors, would mostly be dead soon). Fast forward a few millions of years and we were still struggling to survive harsh and constantly changing conditions – surviving only because our brains had grown with the advent of a protein rich diet. We who, when our hisotry is looked at on any time-spiral of the history of just this planet, are an infinitesimal line that couldn’t be seen with the naked eye – we who are so very insignificant, have managed all this, along with all the bad.

    Just a blink of the eye ago, we didn’t even have language to describe what we saw in the night skies and scant enough time to look at them anyways. And now we are wandering to these places with our probes, with our telescopes and even sending people to stay in the closest regions outside our atmosphere.

    No matter the great evils our race is perpetuating, even today – this is a fucking brilliant time to be human. Though if we survive another blink, it should be an even better time to be human, or whatever we might be in a million years.

  5. #5 DuWayne
    August 15, 2009

    This picture makes a great desktop…

  6. #6 Nathan Myers
    August 15, 2009

    Actually it was the proverbial “they” who did it. You know, the “they” in “they should …”. “They” aren’t doing what “they should” because “they” are doing stuff like this instead. It’s a worthy trade-off, in my view.

  7. #7 DuWayne
    August 16, 2009

    Not a worthy trade off at all. I am not some coward to refuse to take ownership of who and what I am. I am a human and an American and I accept what those labels imply, good and bad.

  8. #8 Nathan Myers
    August 16, 2009

    I’m happy that “they” did this, on behalf of people like me, albeit not me personally. I’m happy that “they” didn’t do lots of other things “they” might have done instead. I won’t pretend I was involved, as satisfying as it might have been to.

    “They”, some of them, were Americans. Others were of Asian, European, Indian, Polynesian or African origin. All were human. Good on them.