Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2004 January 6
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Spirit's 3D View Toward Sleepy Hollow
Credit: Mars Exploration Rover Mission, JPL, NASA

Explanation: Working late, tired mission members nicknamed the smooth-looking depression to the left of center in this image from the martian surface, Sleepy Hollow. The picture is a portion of the 3D panorama of the Spirit rover's landing site released yesterday, constructed with data from the Mars rover's navigation cameras. Use red/blue glasses, red for the left eye, to get the 3D effect. Sleepy Hollow is estimated to be around 9 meters (30 feet) in diameter and about 12 meters (40 feet) away. Possibly an impact crater, the martian surface feature is a tantalizing potential site for a future visit when the golf cart-sized robotic rover ventures forth. Covered with solar arrays, the rear deck of the rover is also visible in this view along with the top of an antenna at the right. An innovative camera calibration target, a martian sundial, can be seen left of the antenna, mounted near the edge of the rover's deck.

Tomorrow's picture: Red Mars

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