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Mars rover snaps intriguing crater pic

May 23, 2012 at 6:45 PM   |   Comments

PASADENA, Calif., May 23 (UPI) -- NASA's Mars rover Opportunity has used a low sun angle in the Martian evening to help capture a memorable image of a large crater, the space agency says.

Mars Exploration Rover used its panoramic camera between about 4:30 and 5:00 p.m. local Mars time to record images taken through several different filters, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a release Tuesday.

The image shows the shadow of the rover in the foreground and the giant basin of Endeavour Crater, about 14 miles in diameter, in the distance.

The scene is presented in false colors to emphasize differences in materials such as dark dunes on the crater floor, giving parts of the image an aqua tint.

Opportunity has been studying the edge region of the crater since arriving there in August 2011, JPL said.

Since taking the picture in March, Opportunity has resumed driving and is currently investigating a patch of windblown Martian dust nearby, NASA said.

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