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 27
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Opportunity on Mars
Credit: Mars Exploration Rover Mission, JPL, NASA

Explanation: You've just woken up in a small crater on Mars. The surrounding landscape is barren, strange, and alien. You've never been on this world before. You transmit pictures that are instantly rebroadcast all over your home world. You are the eyes for billions of people. You seek adventure. Your mission is to explore this strange new world and search for signs of pre-historic life. You have six wheels, one arm, and X-ray eyes. Surrounding you, pictured above, is iron sand and light-colored protrusions that might be bedrock. You are the Opportunity Rover that landed on Mars just this past weekend.

Tomorrow's picture: White Crab

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
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