Mars rover snaps picture of its shadow at Seattle-sized crater

Mars rover snaps picture of its shadow at Seattle-sized crater

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

A composite image from the Mars rover Opportunity on March 9, 2012. The rover is looking at the Endeavour crater, which has an area the size of Seattle.

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by TRAVIS PITTMAN / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Updated Sunday, Oct 27 at 11:05 AM

NASA's Opportunity Rover, which has outlasted it's expected lifespan by eight years and counting, has sent back a pretty spectacular self-portrait of sorts while exploring the red planet.

While looking out at Endeavour crater, you can see the rover's shadow between 4:30 and 5 p.m. local Mars time on March 9.

The picture above combines about a dozen separate images taken by Opportunity's panoramic camera. The colors were tweaked to exaggerate surface differences.

Opportunity was on the western rim of the vast crater, which 14 miles across and has an area about the size of Seattle.

To see the full, uncropped image, click here

NASA sent Opportunity and it's twin, Spirit, to opposite sides of Mars in January 2004. Their missions were only supposed to last 90 days, but both explorers proved to have amazing stamina. Spirit eventually became stuck in soft soil in May 2009 and contact was lost in March 2010.

 

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