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Mars Color Stereo Photographs

The pictures here were taken by NASA's Spirit and Opportunity Rovers.

Raw Data: NASA/JPL. See the NASA Mars Rover Stereo 3d site.
Construction of color images and alignment: Mark Subbarao (UChicago / Adler), with help from Dinoj Surendran (UChicago), Doug Roberts (Northwestern U / Adler) et al.

Color images were constructed using the R1-R2-L2-L7 filters based on a scheme by Mark Subbarao, and are only an approximation to the true color. The blue is somewhat exaggerated, as it's based on infra-red filters. (The optical filters aren't matched.) Dinoj Surendran wrote a GIMP script that automated the image construction process. Northwestern University VisLab's Mars Stereo Imaging project has been doing more work on automating the process, and has more details on the construction of stereo images.

This ZIP file contains all pictures on this page, plus a Wallview file to use on a GeoWall.

Opportunity Photographs

Sol 3: Layered rocks and blueberries
Some photographs from Opportunity Some photographs from Opportunity
Sol 4: A five-image mosaic from Eagle Crater, where Opportunity landed.
El Capitán
Thanks, in part, to the rock above (nicknamed El Capitán), Mars rover science team members have concluded that the area where Opportunity landed may have contained a salty liquid water sea. Clues from the composition of rocks such as El Capitán and the rocks' physical appearance helped make the case for a watery history. These clues included the presence of sulfates and niches where crystals grew. On Earth, rocks with as much salt as this Mars rock either have formed in water or, after formation, have been highly altered by long exposures to water. Additional research done by Opportunity has determined that, besides being exposed to water after they formed, the rocks at Opportunity's Eagle Crater landing site were quite possibly laid down by minerals precipitating out of solution at the bottom of a salty lake or sea. This is the first time that very strong evidence has been found for the past existence of liquid water on the surface of Mars.

Caption by Michelle Nichols. This picture was Adler's Picture of the Week, 29 March 2004.

Rover tracks Rover tracks
Sol 16:Rover tracks
Blueberries. Blueberries.
Sol 20: Blueberries. These are hematite concretions, i.e. they are little rocks containing iron. The concretions were formed under rocks when the rocks were under water. The rocks then eroded away, leaving the concretions exposed and littering the ground. Similar rocks, called Moqui Marbles, are found in the American SouthWest.
Sol 45: The Blueberry Bowl
"Berries on the Ground"

This shows "a microscopic image taken of soil featuring round, blueberry-shaped rock formations on the crater floor at Meridiani Planum, Mars. This image was taken on the 13th day of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's journey, after the Mössbauer spectrometer, an instrument located on the rover's instrument deployment device, or "arm," was pressed down to measure the soil's iron mineralogy. Note the donut-shaped imprint of the instrument in the lower part of the image. The area in this image is approximately 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) across."

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/USGS/Texas A&M

Caption credit: NASA's Opportunity Site

Sol 50: The Shoemaker's Workbench
Sol 81: Anatolia Something.
Sol 85: This image shows off how flat Meridiani Planum is.
Sol 94: Approaching Endurance Crater.
RAT Hole and Blueberries
A hole in the rock A hole in the rock
This image shows a section of rock that has being ground away by the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) of the Opportunity rover on Mars. Scattered on the rock's surface are little spheres nicknamed blueberries. Scientists believe that these blueberries grew inside the rock while these rocks were submerged in water. This indicates that Mars was much wetter in the past, an environment potentially suitable for life.

Caption by Mark SubbaRao and Jose Francisco Salgado, from Adler's Picture of the Day, 1 March 2004.

The RAT that made the hole in the rock The RAT that made the hole in the rock
The RAT that made the Hole.

Spirit Photographs

Sol 41 Sol 41
Sol 41: Notice how sand only coats the rock on one side, the side of the prevailing wind.
Sol 45: 3-image mosaic looking towards Columbia Hills.
Sol 54: Sand. Rock.
Sol 58: Tracks of Spirit Rover moving around in circles.
Sol 77: At the rim of Bonneville Crater. Good place for picnics.
Sol 91: 5-image mosaic, moving closer to Columbia Hills.
Sol 93: Rocks. Sand. Site of the next blockbuster Dune movie.
The little dimples in the rock indicate that it is volcanic basalt.

Links to other 3d Mars Stereo sites


Adler has hundreds more color stereo pictures, which will be released in due course.

Contact: msubbaraoATSYMBOLadlernetDOTorg