Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Two Worlds, One Sun

While humans' lives unfolded on Earth, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity paused in its southward trek and captured this photomosaic around 15:00 local Mars time on May 2, 2010. ... Dusty, reddish brown dunes stretch southward to the horizon along the rover's route ahead.

The "Two Worlds, One Sun" theme is a reference to the motto inscribed on the Pancam calibration target, seen on the back of the rover deck at the bottom of this view. The target is used to properly calibrate and color-balance the Pancam images, and with its artistically styled shadow post, or gnomon, it doubles as a sundial (also known as a "Marsdial") for educational purposes. (See PIA05018.)

This scene is a three-tall by one-wide mosaic of Pancam images taken through the camera's red (602 nanometer), green (530 nanometer) and blue (480 nanometer) filters. It has been calibrated and processed to approximate the colors that would be seen by humans if they could be present for this lovely Martian view. The camera took the images during the 2,229th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's mission on Mars.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University

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