Astronomy Picture of the Day: 25th JanOpportunity Rover Spots Greeley Haven on Mars Image Credit: Mars Exploration Rover Mission
Explanation: Where on Mars should you spend the winter? As winter approached in the southern hemisphere of Mars last November, the Opportunity rover had just this problem — it needed a place to go. The reduced amount of sunlight impacting Opportunity's solar panels combined with the extra power needed to keep equipment warm could drain Opportunity’s batteries. Therefore Opportunity was instructed to climb onto the 15 degree incline of Greeley’s Haven, shown as the rocky slope ahead. The incline increased power input as Opportunity's solar panels now have greater exposure to sunlight, while also giving the rolling robot some interesting landscape to explore. Visible in the distance, beyond Greeley Haven, lies expansive Endeavour Crater, the ancient impact basin that Opportunity will continue exploring as the Martian winter concludes in a few months, if it survives.