The Opportunity rover from NASA has sent new footage and observation data from the research mission on Mars. In the recent news, Opportunity sent images depicting an area in which a lake may have been.
Opportunity Rover Researches Mars Ancient River Site
In its current mission, the Opportunity rover is examining rocks at the edge of Endeavour Crater for clues that might tell if the rocks were transported by a flood or eroded in place by winds.
The team that manages the Opportunity rover mission will most probably drive the rover to Perseverance Valley after finishing a study of the area above the Valley. The Opportunity rover has been studying the western rim of Endeavour Crater since 2011. It is meant to be a mission of accommodation and study of what is above Perseverance Valley, said Ray Arvidson, Deputy Principal Investigator from Washington University in St. Louis.
“We see a pattern of striations running east-west outside the crest of the rim”, he said.
Researchers have observed a broad notch over the Valley and, at west, patches of rocks that line in the east-west where they believe, billion-years ago, was a drainage channel.
“We want to determine whether these are in-place rocks or transported rocks,” Arvidson said.
Scientists believe that there are two possibilities. It was either the final part of a catchment where a lake was perched against the outside of the crater rim. If this were the case, a giant river course would have carried rocks, breaching the rim and overflowing into the crater.
The other theory makes Perseverance Valley a spillway, the ground west of the crest slope away. If this were the case, researchers are thinking of delving into finding a scenario that would offer an explanation about how the valley was carved. There is much more to do for the Opportunity rover.
Image Source: NASA