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Press Release Images: Opportunity

Martian Concretions Near Fram Crater
Martian Concretions Near Fram Crater

The small spherules on the Martian surface in this close-up image are near Fram Crater, visited by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity during April 2004. The area shown is 1.2 inches (3 centimeters) across. The view comes from the microscopic imager on Opportunity's robotic arm, with color information added from the rover's panoramic camera.

These are examples of the mineral concretions nicknamed "blueberries." Opportunity's investigation of the hematite-rich concretions during the rover's three-month prime mission in early 2004 provided evidence of a watery ancient environment.

This image was taken during the 84th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars (April 19, 2004). The location is beside Fram Crater, which Opportunity passed on its way from Eagle Crater, where it landed, toward Endurance Crater, where it spent most of the rest of 2004. A context image is online at

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/USGS

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Lander Trench Dug by Opportunity
Lander Trench Dug by Opportunity

On March 20, 2004, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used a wheel to dig a trench revealing subsurface material beside the lander hardware that carried the rover to the surface of Mars 55 Martian days, or sols, earlier.

This scene is an approximate true color rendering combining images from Opportunity's navigation camera (Navcam) and panoramic camera (Pancam). The trench was dug to explore the nature of small wind ripples near the center of Eagle Crater, close to the Opportunity lander. The trench cross-cuts the rover's first "footprint" wheel tracks. The white material at the top is the fabric ramp that the rover drove down to leave the lander. The soil at the end of the ramp was compressed and disturbed by the weight of the rover as it drove down the ramp. The robotic arm instruments, glistening in the Martian sunlight, were subsequently used to make measurements inside the trench.

A Pancam view back into Eagle Crater from the crater's edge, at, shows where this trench was dug beside the lander platform.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU

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