Santa Maria (crater)

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Santa Maria
Panorama taken by MER-B
Panorama taken by Opportunity Rover on December 18th, 2010
Planet Mars
Region Meridiani Planum
Coordinates 2°10′19″S 5°26′42″W / 2.172°S 5.445°W / -2.172; -5.445Coordinates: 2°10′19″S 5°26′42″W / 2.172°S 5.445°W / -2.172; -5.445
Diameter 90 meters (295 feet)
Discoverer Opportunity rover
Eponym Santa Maria, a ship used by Christopher Columbus during his crossing of the Atlantic in 1492.
Santa Maria crater from orbit, by HiRise

Santa Maria is an impact crater located at 2.172°S, 5.445°W within the Meridiani Planum extraterrestrial plain, lying situated within the Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle (MC-19) region of the planet Mars. This geological feature was first visited by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. It sits north west of the much larger Endeavour crater. The crater measures about 80-90 meters across.

Exploration[edit]

Opportunity arrived at the crater on December 15, 2010. [1] The rover was positioned at the south eastern rim, where it took several images and prepared for the oncoming Solar Conjunction. The last communication made before the conjunction was on February 3rd, 2011. [2] Communications resumed around a week later, and the rover performed several in-situ studies of the rocks "Luis de Torres" and "Ruiz Garcia". The rover left the crater on March 22nd, heading eastwards towards Endeavour crater.

See also[edit]

Other craters visited by Opportunity (MER-B)[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.universetoday.com/81838/opportunity-shoots-awesome-views-of-santa-maria-crater/
  2. ^ http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/mission/status_opportunityAll.html#sol2497