Astronomy Picture of the Day

Victoria Crater on Mars

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Victoria Crater on Mars

Scroll right to see the largest crater yet visited by a rover on Mars.

Reaching the expansive
Victoria Crater
has been a
goal for the
robotic Opportunity rover rolling across
Mars for the past 21 months.

Opportunity reached Victoria last week, and is cautiously probing the
stadium-sized crevice.

It is hoped that Victoria Crater will show a
deep stack of layers uncovered by the initial impact,
and hence new clues into the ancient surface history of Mars.

Visible in the distance of the
above image
mosaic is the far rim of Victoria Crater, lying about 800 meters away and rising about
70 meters above the crater floor. The alcove in front has been dubbed Duck Bay.

Victoria crater has about five times the diameter of
Endurance Crater, which Opportunity spent six months exploring.

If a safe path is found, Opportunity may actually
attempt to enter Victoria Crater.

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