Looking for Schiaparelli At Wharton Ridge

©Jim Rice/ASU

South Side of Wharton Ridge

On Wednesday 19 October the ExoMars Schiaparelli module will land on Mars at 10:48 am EDT. There is a chance that Opportunity may see it on the horizon as it descends.

If Schiaparelli lands in the middle of its projected landing site in Meridiani Planum then Opportunity would not be able to see it on the horizon. But if Schiaparelli goes a little "long" there is a chance that Opportunity might catch it in an image.

Jim Rice, a science team member on the Mars Exploration Rover Project at Arizona State University, targeted two frames of the south side of Wharton Ridge. If Schiaparelli goes long this is the area where Opportunity might be able to see it. It won't be large - perhaps only a pixel or two.

The name of this location on the rim of Endeavour crater was initially announced a week or so ago. "Wharton Ridge" is named after Robert A. Wharton (Bob). Bob was an astrobiologist before the word had even been coined. He was an adventurer and a jack of all trades. Among other things, he spent a lot of time diving under Antarctic ice and roaming the dry valleys of Antarctica.

You can read more about Bob Wharton and his namesake at "Taking In The View From Wharton Ridge". He would have been thrilled to have a seat as Schiaparelli flew by.

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2016/4527WhartonRidge2.jpg

Image of Wharton Ridge courtesy Jim Rice/ASU Larger image

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2016/Sol4527WhartonRidge1.jpg

Image of Wharton Ridge courtesy Jim Rice/ASU Larger image

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