New pictures of huge Mars crater emerge

Ever wanted to see what the surface of Mars looks like? Well now you can as Nasa releases some very clear colour images of a never-before-explored crater on the surface of the rocky planet.

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity arrived at the west rim of the Endeavour crater on Wednesday after a 13-mile journey which took three years.

Scientists have said that the crater is 14 miles in diameter and more than 25 times wider than anything that the golf-buggy-sized robot has previously explored since it touched down on Mars in 2004.

According to Nasa, the Endeavour crater offers access to older geological deposits than any Opportunity has seen before, and such research may be a clue as to whether there have ever been habitable conditions on the planet.

This is the real view of the portion of the crater and looks just like a dry desert on Earth.


This is the same photo presented in false colour to emphasize the differences among materials in the rocks and the soils.


The crater was picked after the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter observed clay minerals at the site from its orbit, and experts believe the discovery may indicate evidence of a warmer, wetter history on the planet.

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Matthew Golombek, a Mars Exploration Rover science team member at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory explained what the exploration of Endeavour means. He said: “We're soon going to get the opportunity to sample a rock type the rovers haven't seen yet. Clay minerals form in wet conditions so we may learn about a potentially habitable environment that appears to have been very different from those responsible for the rocks comprising the plains.”

It is said that Endeavour is likely to be the last crater explored by the rover.

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