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03.09.2017 Back-to-Back Martian Dust Storms
02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
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01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
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03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
03.21.2016 For a Decade Orbiting Mars: One Recent View
03.09.2016 For a Decade Orbiting Mars: One Recent View
03.09.2016 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter By the Numbers
03.01.2016 MRO sees Frosty Spring Slopes
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02.10.2016 Wind at Work
11.16.2015 Change Observed in Martian Sand Dune
10.05.2015 'The Martian' Story's Ares 4 Landing Site
10.05.2015 The Ares 3 Landing Site (Figure A)
09.30.2015 Avalanche Ho!
06.29.2015 Mars Exploration Zone Layout Considerations
06.17.2015 Active High-Latitude Dune Gullies
06.03.2015 Crisp Crater in Sirenum Fossae
05.20.2015 Sedimentary Rock Layers on a Crater Floor
05.20.2015 Honey, I Shrunk the Mesas
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05.04.2015 Diverse Orbits Around Mars
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03.25.2015 Pitted Landforms in Southern Hellas Planitia
03.12.2015 Curiosity Heading Away from 'Pahrump Hills'
02.18.2015 Lava Flow Near the Base of Olympus Mons
02.09.2015 Yardangs in Arsinoes Chaos, Mars
02.04.2015 Curiosity Rover at 'Pahrump Hills'
01.22.2015 Frost on Crater Slope
01.16.2015 Components of Beagle 2 Flight System on Mars
Mars Orbiter Sees Rover Opportunity at Crater EdgeThe High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this image of the Opportunity rover on the southwest rim of "Santa Maria" crater on New Year's Eve 2010, or Martian day (sol) 2466 of the rover's work on Mars.
The rover is discernable at about the 8-o'clock position around the rim. A comparison with an earlier HiRISE image of this crater (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA13706) shows the site before the rover's arrival. Opportunity is imaging the crater's interior to better reveal the geometry of rock layers as a means of defining the stratigraphy and the impact process. Santa Maria is a relatively young, 90-meter-diameter (295-foot-diameter) impact crater. Note the blocks of ejected material around the crater. It is old enough to collect sand dunes in its interior. Santa Maria crater, located in Meridiani Planum, is about 6 kilometers (4 miles) from the rim of the much larger Endeavour crater, Opportunity's long-term destination. The rim of Endeavour contains spectral indications of phyllosilicates, or clay bearing minerals believed to have formed in wet conditions that could have been more habitable than the later acidic conditions in which the sulfates Opportunity has been exploring formed. Data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, which is also on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, show indications of hydrated sulfates on the southeast edge of the Santa Maria crater. The rover team plans to use Opportunity to investigate that area through the solar conjunction period in late January and early February. During that period, Mars is almost directly behind the sun from Earth's perspective, and commanding from Earth to Mars spacecraft is restricted. After that, Opportunity will traverse to the northwest rim of Endeavour crater, aided tremendously by HiRISE images like this for navigation and targeting interesting smaller craters along the way.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona