Feeds

Mars rover Opportunity spots WALL-E in crater ramble

Me and my shadow

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Pic NASA's Mars rover Opportunity snapped a dramatic photo of itself roaming around the planet's Endeavour Crater today.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ

The image caught the clear shadow of the hardworking robot, which to our wise eyes on the Vulture space desk looks a bit like the cute movie character WALL-E. The Register is quite certain, however, that NASA has not been taking design advice from Disney or indeed Pixar.

This wonderfully lit image captured Opportunity's late-afternoon shadow. The view is eastward across the Endeavour Crater that spans 14 miles (22 kilometres) in diameter. Which, fact fans, is about the same size as the city of Seattle in the US.

NASA explained:

The rover used the panoramic camera (Pancam) between about 4.30 and 5.00PM. local Mars time to record images taken through different filters and combined into this mosaic view.

Most of the component images were recorded during the 2,888th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on Mars (9 March, 2012). At that time, Opportunity was spending low-solar-energy weeks of the Martian winter at the Greeley Haven outcrop on the Cape York segment of Endeavour's western rim.

In order to give the mosaic a rectangular aspect, some small parts of the edges of the mosaic and sky were filled in with parts of an image acquired earlier as part of a 360-degree panorama from the same location.

The ageing Mars rover has been exploring the western rim of Endeavour Crater since August last year. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.