May 23, 2012 — NASA put together this artsy image of the Mars rover Opportunity getting a glimpse of its own shadow on the rim of Endeavour Crater. The robotic geologist used its panoramic camera to take about a dozen shots using an assortment of filters between about 4:30 and 5 p.m. Mars time on March 9.
The images were transmitted back to Earth where a team of scientists assembled them into this mosaic, which was released Wednesday.
Opportunity was parked on an outcrop of rock known as the Greeley Haven, located on the crater's west 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," NASA said.
False colors were added to accentuate the differences between some of the materials, such as the dark sandy ripples and dunes on the crater's distant floor.
Opportunity left Greeley Haven, where it had spent the winter, on May 8. It is headed toward a spot on the crater's south rim called Cape Tribulation to look for clay minerals.
The rover landed on Mars on Jan. 25, 2004, for what was expected to be a three-month mission searching for signs of past water.
-- by Irene Klotz.