This may sound mundane - after all, wouldn't it be awesome if Opportunity was near "ground zero" of a small impact event! - but Squyres and his team are thrilled about the incredible science Pinnacle Island could provide the veteran Mars rover.
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"(The rock) obligingly turned upside down, so we're seeing a side that hasn't seen the Martian atmosphere in billions of years and there it is for us to investigate. It's just a stroke of luck," Squyres told Discovery News.
In a JPL news release, color versions of the "before" and "after" shots of the ground in front of Opportunity have been released. These new images provide a new perspective on the nature of the rock.
"Much of the rock is bright-toned, nearly white," writes the release. "A portion is deep red in color. Pinnacle Island may have been flipped upside down when a wheel dislodged it, providing an unusual circumstance for examining the underside of a Martian rock."
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