Trek to Solander Point - Page 5

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Posts: 3465

Reply: 81

PostPosted: July 7, 2013 12:43 PM 

Thanks for the thanks Mizar.

I present my work in the hope that someone in the world will look at one of my creations and say - aha - I know what that is - and it ain't a rock!

In the meantime, here are some more rocks:

You need to look at this in 3D to see what's strange about this rock - "floating" above the other large rocks around it. How did that happen?

Today's drive ( sol 3360 ) should be ending soon and I'm hoping it was a very long drive ( 160 meters? ) putting Oppy near some craters that will help determine the rover position.

All the driving now is delaying downloads of all images except those needed for the next drive - so it will be a while before I can finish many of the color images - including this L257R2 view of the rock "Lake Eyre".


Posts: 3465

Reply: 82

PostPosted: July 7, 2013 3:41 PM 

Sol 3360 ( Jul 7, 2013 ) panorama in the next drive direction in Botany Bay towards Solander Point:

with location and guestimated map location.

The drive index advanced from C4BM to C4GF for a guestimated drive of only 37 meters?

Another arm fault? Maybe put a "NOP" instruction where the arm check is done??

My "best guess" map location is based on identifying Oppy as 52 +/- 1 meters from a 16 meter crater and 31 degrees between that crater and the eastern edge of a dark filled 50 meter crater. This is about 355 meters from the last officially identified position on sol 3349 - so I could be totally out to lunch on this location.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 83

PostPosted: July 7, 2013 6:36 PM 

Sol 3360 ( Jul 7, 2013 ) animation of Phobos in the morning sky:

I think the morning star is the Earth and Moon.

And here's a look back towards Cape York:

a kudos to Stu for the idea.


Posts: 692

Reply: 84

PostPosted: July 8, 2013 3:01 PM 

Stuart are doing a tremendous job in his blog to make Mars "visible". And so do Horton and many more here. I'm wondering about... if you ask people walking on the street, what do they know about Mars exploration? I bet, almost all have no idea. With todays Internet available almost everywhere. It's a pity for the mankind. This should be a kind of iMars thing... iOppy, iMSL... there you go... Wink Or .. no, forget it.


Posts: xxx

Reply: 85

PostPosted: July 9, 2013 3:59 AM 

People are not interested in geology. Nobody cares. It's boring. People are not interested in geology on Mars. It's boring. We have boring rocks here,

People are interested about extraterrestrial life, though.

The stuff people are interested in with regard to Mars, for example someone going there or finding out whether something is alive there, is ALWAYS twenty years away. That's the true pity for mankind.

I don't blame mankind for having no idea about Mars exploration. In its current state, it's about as exciting as watching paint dry. Oh, ahh! A pretty picture! Hubble has sent those back too. Tons of them. They are exactly that: pretty pictures. Nothing more.

People are interested in extraterrestrial life, though.


Posts: xxx

Reply: 86

PostPosted: July 9, 2013 5:06 AM 

I am a demonstrator at an Observatory which is open to the public here in London Curiosity got a lot of airtime so people know we are up there but most do not know that Oppy has been wheeling around for nearly 10 years. They ask what have we discovered so I explain it was a different place billions of years ago - warmer, wet, thicker atmosphere etc.

Then the inevitable question is there life? It's true joe public don't care about rocks they want to know are we alone and could we live there one day? My answers - yes we will live there one day - yes I believe life was on Mars and in certain places below the surface there still is but don't expect proof of that anytime soon as it will require a human to go there and track it down.

They ask why are we not sending a manned mission then - we do not have the technology to do it, we are trying to invent it now, we have to go back to the Moon first, the ISS is teaching us about the effects of long periods in Space. A class of students once asked Neil Armstrong would another program like Apollo ever happen and he said what you need is this scenario Leadership, Economy and Threat.

As far as I can see have the last one but not the first two.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 87

PostPosted: July 9, 2013 3:21 PM 


Stu thinks the "star" with Phobos in reply 83 is Deimos.

Earth would have a magnitude of around -1.5 and Deimos would be around 2.5

I simply don't know if Earth is now in the Mars morning sky. Does anyone know? ( Kevin I'm looking at you. )

Here is what the Mars morning sky looked like last year about this time of year:


Posts: 3465

Reply: 88

PostPosted: July 9, 2013 7:54 PM 

Sol 3362 ( Jul 9, 2013 ) panorama in the next drive direction in Botany Bay towards Solander Point:

The drive index advanced from C4GF to C4SU for a guestimated drive of 96 meters.

A direct parallax measurement to the base of the white outcrop on Solander Point is now 536 -158/+299 meters. Oppy is now only five long drives to the point!


Posts: 3465

Reply: 89

PostPosted: July 10, 2013 2:17 PM 

Sol 3363 in next drive direction after a guestimated drive of 53 meters:

Kye Goodwin

Posts: 1166

Reply: 90

PostPosted: July 10, 2013 6:13 PM 

Wow, that lower slope on Solander Point is showing a lot more detail now:

Oppy's approach doesn't seem to be generating as much excitement as the arrival at Cape York, but now I'm guessing that the chances of learning something from this taller cape are much better. There's no certainty about anything here, except that Endeavour, because it is circular, represents some altered version of what was originally an impact crater. There is a pretty good chance that piles of material along it's present "rim" and standing well above it's rim include mostly ejecta from the original impact. There are other possibilities but they involve much more complicated stories. Cape York and Knobby Head turned out to be bad candidates for proximal ejecta and were mostly a better fit for distal eject, but they also aren't very extensive and do not rise more than a meter or two above the local rim surface.

My prediction for what we'll find at Solander is material like that at Cape York and Knobby Head again making a gradual transition from the Meridiani bright layered rock of Botany Bay; and then FINALLY somewhere up the slope we'll see some really novel stuff that IS proximal ejecta in-place since the Endurance impact event, and a FINALLY a clear discontinuity.

Or maybe the taller capes are still entirely buried in distal ejecta like the rest of the landscape, but then it's harder to explain why they are still present. Why would the exhumation proceed so much faster elsewhere if the taller capes are buried in the same stuff that, for example, filled the crater and has now been removed to a depth of 500m at the deepest point?


Posts: 3465

Reply: 91

PostPosted: July 10, 2013 9:12 PM 

More Progress Toward 'Solander Point'. By my count Oppy is 487 meters from the last officially reported position - and tomorrow's drive on sol 3364 should add another 40 to 120 meters!

It turns out that the "star" in reply 83 was Deimos.

Also, as expected, the arm sensor is now being ignored on the drives.


Posts: xxx

Reply: 92

PostPosted: July 11, 2013 11:12 AM 

Hort only just saw your question #87 now that would be a challenge!! All our reference books and charts tell us what is in our skies or at what point in the future we might see a particular object.

Looking at this it shows it is possible that Earth could appear low on the horizon but I cannot tell for sure I need to do more work on this.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 93

PostPosted: July 11, 2013 11:45 AM 

Er, actually Kevin I was hoping you had the open source planetarium software Stellarium on your computer ( mentioned in the link in reply 87 ) - which apparently can be used to create sky charts for places other than the Earth.

It would be handy to check future sky events on Mars - so I will download it "soon" and give it a try. You might find it interesting too.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 94

PostPosted: July 11, 2013 12:39 PM 

Stellarium is totally cool!

I downloaded it, set my location to planet Mars, Opportunity Meridianni Terra. set the landscape to Mars, set the date and time to a few days ago and discovered that Earth was in the evening sky low on the western horizon.

I looked east and advanced the time to see Phobos - but didn't see Deimos. ( Not sure why. )

Bottom line: according to the program, Earth would not be seen in the morning sky a few days ago. ( That's what I get for being too lazy to actually look up the data. )

Thomas Lee Elifritz

Posts: 10

Reply: 95

PostPosted: July 11, 2013 3:14 PM 

The Orbiter Space Flight Simulator would give you an accurate representation of the sky as well, with even better positioning. I must say I'm not a Mars guy on Orbiter so I haven't bothered to look yet.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 96

PostPosted: July 11, 2013 5:46 PM 

Sol 3364 ( Jul 11, 2013 ) hazcam 360 panorama in Botany Bay:

Not a lot of images down yet after the sol 3364 drive - which seems to have been a short ( 30-50 meters ) drive - so for fun I decided to hack a 360 hazcam "fisheye" pan at the location.


Posts: 3465

Reply: 97

PostPosted: July 11, 2013 7:43 PM 

Sol 3364 ( Jul 11, 2013 ) panorama in the next drive direction in Botany Bay:

Er, what??

I wonder what HiRise has seen that Oppy will investigate?


Ah. There is a broad trench ( fault line? ) about 60 meters to the east. That must be the target of interest. Maybe some methane - or water - surfacing along the fault??? Now THAT would be exciting.


Posts: xxx

Reply: 98

PostPosted: July 12, 2013 4:50 AM 

Nice one Hort I shall be taking a tour of that site our staple is


Posts: xxx

Reply: 99

PostPosted: July 13, 2013 2:07 AM 

I guess this is what they are going to do:
03366 p2408.32 8 0 0 8 2 18 pancam_long_baseline_stereo_4x1_L2R2
03366 p2408.32 8 0 0 8 2 18 pancam_long_baseline_stereo_4x1_L2R2


Posts: 3465

Reply: 100

PostPosted: July 13, 2013 5:20 PM 

Sol 3366 ( Jul 13, 2013 ) 3D closeup of peculiar rocks after guestimated 74 meter drive east in Botany bay:

with location link.


A 70 meter eye separation is about a thousand times normal eye separation - so the depth resolution will be the same as looking with your eyes at a scale model a thousand times smaller at about 50 cm away.

For your amusement here is the original left eye image:

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