Journey Across the Surface of the Red Planet

This little rock looks like it has an interesting story to tell!

Opportunity is taking the human journey to the beginning of space and time to Mars every day
This little meteorite is telling planetary scientists studying Mars a few things

Opportunity is providing astronomers with a chance to study Mars up close

Astronomy News – NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been travelling across the surface of the Red Planet looking at anything that interests scientists while making its way toward its main goal, Endeavour Crater. The latest object of study for planetary scientists playing with their toys is this meteorite NASA’s planetary scientists have affectionately named “Oilean Ruaidh”, which is also the Gaelic name of an island off the coast of northwestern Ireland. NASA planetary scientists first got a glimpse of this gem on September 16, 2010, which was the 2,363rd Martian day rover has spent on the surface of the Red Planet. The picture above was actually taken on September 24, 2010, using the panoramic camera on Opportunity, four days before Opportunity would continue its journey to Endeavour Crater, by travelling a distance of about 328 ft (100 meters).

The four days that planetary scientists spent looking at “Oilean Ruaidh” using the microscopic imager and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer of Opportunity to take a closer look at the texture and composition of this little meteorite revealed that it’s a nickel-iron meteorite. The image above is presented in a color close to the true color of the meteorite and combines component images taken through three Pancam filters admitting different wavelengths.

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