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After 5,000 Sols We See the Face of Opportunity

20 Feb 2018, 01:11 UTC
After 5,000 Sols We See the Face of Opportunity
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Opportunity’s first-ever selfie on Mars, captured on Sol 5000. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Jason Major)
It’s finally happened—after over 14 years on Mars (14!!!) NASA’s Opportunity rover has turned its arm-mounted camera around to take a look at itself, giving us the very first true “selfie” of the Mars Exploration Rover mission! Hello Opportunity!

The image above comprises 17 separate images captured by Opportunity’s Microscopic Imager on Feb. 15, 2018. it’s no coincidence that the photo shoot was planned on that particular day either; the date marked the rover’s 5,000th sol in operation. A sol is what mission scientists call a Martian day, which lasts 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds (a bit longer than an Earth day so after a while the difference adds up.)
Parts of the Opportunity rover. (NASA/JPL)
The image was shared on Twitter by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Friday, Feb. 16. I took their greyscale composite and softened out some of the borders between the composite frames, adjusted the contrast and added coloration to make it look more Mars-like.
As the original images were captured with the Microscopic Imager and downsampled, they really aren’t all that detailed (unlike what Opportunity’s younger cousin Curiosity can achieve with its ...

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