Other Unexplained Objects at Eagle Crater

Two odd images returned by the Opportunity Rover have attracted an inordinate amount of attention. One was discovered in an image taken by the microscopic imager, after grinding a hole in a rock named "McKittrick" on Sol 30 (Feb 23, 2004). It was quickly dubbed the "Rotini" in news reports on the web. The second object was photographed at "Guadalupe" by the microscopic imager, just before grinding the same spot with the RAT. It has been compared to crinoid fossils found on Earth. Both "McKittrick" and "Guadalupe" are located in the "El Capitan" region of the rocky outcrop. See "Hole" Lota Grindin' Going On for the exact locations:

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Above: a small area of a microscopic image taken at "McKittrick" shows the infamous "Rotini" along with another suggestive object in the lower left corner. The Rotini is very small, only about 1 mm long. The original image can be found here:

3-D stereograms of both objects are shown below. For instructions on how to view stereograms, see the Mars Fossils page.






Above: two stereograms show the Rotini in 3-D. Both stereograms have been enlarged 2x. The bottom left image was processed to minimize the obscuring shadow.
Left raw image:
Right raw image:





Above: stereogram of the Rotini companion object, taken from the same raw images. Magnification is 2x.


Above, top image: the "Crinoid" object. Note the "blueberry" in the upper right corner for size comparison. This image has the best focus. Download the full size original here:
Above, bottom image: the "Crinoid" after grinding with the RAT. The "blueberry" in the upper right corner appears to have a stem; see the closeup at the bottom of this page. The black line in the lower left corner is a shadow cast by the microscopic imager's contact sensor. The full size raw image is here:





Above: despite the fact that no left and right stereo pairs where taken of the "Crinoid", a modest 3-D effect was obtained by using 2 images taken at different focal distances. The left image above was taken with the Microscopic Imager lens further away than in the right image. Because the object was to the left of center in the original images, a change of perspective occurred as the lens was moved in and out. The right image was enlarged 2x, and the left image was enlarged to match the right. Also, the shadows in both images were carefully dodged +15 with Microsoft Image Composer, to bring out additional detail.

Original raw left image:
Original raw right image:


Above: closeup of the "berry and stem" that was exposed when the "crinoid" was ground with the RAT (rock abrasion tool). Image is enlarged 1.5x from the original. The diameter of the berry is about 3 mm.


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