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A new video compiles these 309 images, providing an historic record of the three-year trek that totaled about 13 miles (21 kilometers) across a Martian plain pocked with smaller craters.
The rover team also produced a sound track for the video, using each drive day's data from Opportunity's accelerometers. The low-frequency data has been sped up 1,000 times to yield audible frequencies.
"The sound represents the vibrations of the rover while moving on the surface of Mars," said Paolo Bellutta, a rover planner at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., who has plotted many of Opportunity's drives and coordinated production of the video. "When the sound is louder, the rover was moving on bedrock. When the sound is softer, the rover was moving on sand."
"The best explanation we have for these observations so far is flow of briny water, although this study does not prove that," said planetary geologist and lead author Professor Alfred McEwen of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona.
Saltiness lowers the temperature at which water freezes, and water about as salty as Earth's oceans could exist at these sites in summer.
"This could be the first flowing water," said Professor McEwen. This has profound implications in the search for extraterrestrial life. "Liquid water is absolutely essential for life, and we've found life on Earth in pretty much every moist niche," said Dr Lewis Dartnell, astrobiologist at University College London, who was not involved in the study.
"So perhaps there could be hardy microbes surviving in these short periods of summer meltwater on the desert surface of Mars."
Originally posted by Dalke07
Some member send my this private msg, dont know way he did not post here ..
I cant find what he see or maybe I cant understood him.. o0
"From 1m45seconds on the video something intrigues me. Watch the horizon, the hills, dark marks, same direction yet the foreground changes? yet the direction stays more or less constant. If you were traveling in the direction of the hills you would notice the foreground as it approached from the distance yet it changes significantly."edit on 12-10-2011 by Dalke07 because: (no reason given)