- Press Release
- Mar 20, 2023
Hinners Point Above Floor of Marathon Valley on Mars
This Martian scene shows contrasting textures and colors of “Hinners Point,” at the northern edge of “Marathon Valley,” and swirling reddish zones on the valley floor to the left.
The view combines six frames taken by the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on Aug. 14, 2015, during the 4,108th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s work on Mars.
The summit takes its informal name as a tribute to Noel Hinners (1935-2014). For NASA’s Apollo program, Hinners played important roles in selection of landing sites on the moon and scientific training of astronauts. He then served as NASA associate administrator for space science, director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA chief scientist and associate deputy administrator of NASA. Subsequent to responsibility for the Viking Mars missions while at NASA, he spent the latter part of his career as vice president for flight systems at Lockheed Martin, where he had responsibility for the company’s roles in development and operation of NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Odyssey, Phoenix Mars Lander, Stardust and Genesis missions.
Marathon Valley cuts generally east-west through the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The valley’s name refers to the distance Opportunity drove from its 2004 landing site to arrival at this location in 2014. The valley was a high-priority destination for the rover mission because observations from orbit detected clay minerals there.
Dark rocks on Hinners Point show a pattern dipping downward toward the interior of Endeavour, to the right from this viewing angle. The strong dip may have resulted from the violence of the impact event that excavated the crater.
Brighter rocks make up the valley floor. The reddish zones there may be areas where water has altered composition. Inspections by Opportunity have found compositions there are higher in silica and lower in iron than the typical composition of rocks on Endeavour’s rim.
The scene spans from west-southwest at left to northwest at right. The larger of two stones close to each other in the foreground left of center is about 5 inches (12 centimeters) wide. On bright bedrock to the right of those stones, Opportunity inspected a target informally named “Pvt. George Gibson.” Another inspected target, “Pvt. Silas Goodrich,” is on the valley floor near the left edge of this scene. The informal names for these targets refer to members of the Lewis and Clark expedition’s Corps of Discovery.
This version of the image is presented in approximate true color by combing exposures taken through three of the Pancam’s color filters, centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near-infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet). An enhanced-color version making differences in surface materials easier to see is at PIA19820. A stereo version is at PIA19911.
JPL manages the Mars Exploration Rover Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. For more about Opportunity’s mission, see http://mars.nasa.gov/mer.