Shadow of a Martian Robot
What if you saw your shadow on Mars and it wasn't human? Then you might be the Opportunity rover currently exploring Mars. Opportunity and sister robot Spirit have been probing the red planet since January, finding evidence of ancient water, and sending breathtaking images across the inner Solar System. Pictured above, Opportunity looks opposite the Sun into Endurance Crater and sees its own shadow. Two wheels are visible on the lower left and right, while the floor and walls of the unusual crater are visible in the background. Opportunity is cautiously edging its way into this enigmatic crater, hoping to find new clues into the wet ancient past of our Solar System's second most habitable planet.
At the Summit of Olympus Mons
From martian orbit, the Mars Express cameras looked down on the largest volcano in the solar system. The result was this stunningly detailed overhead view of the caldera or summit crater region of Olympus Mons. Fittingly named for the lofty abode of the gods of Greek mythology, Olympus Mons rises 21 kilometers above the surrounding plain or to about 3 times the height of Mt. Everest. The area pictured is 102 kilometers across and the caldera pits are up to 3 kilometers deep. For comparison, hawaiian volcanic calderas range up to 18 kilometers in diameter. Outlined by steep cliffs, Olympus Mons itself is about 600 kilometers in diameter. big