Opportunity has just left the ripple and large bedrock regions for a much flatter area dubbed the 'Parking Lot'.
However between here and Santa Maria crater 2km or so away the terrain is not totally featureless, there are regions of small ripples, small craters, Anatolia like troughs and further regions of exposed bedrock.
The map below shows this terrain at the full HiRISE resolution (25cm per pixel). Opportunities position (on sol 2405) is shown in yellow at the top left, Santa Maria Crater is at the bottom right. The colours represent the ripple sizes using my Fourier mapping technique that I'm posted a lot about on this blog. Green is essentially totally flat, small ripples are shades of blue as are exposed bedrock (lighter tone regions). Reds represent large ripples, however as those days are behind Oppy most of the red areas in this map are the edges of craters and the borders with the lighter toned bedrock.
Full Resolution (7928 x 2216) ( 2MB )
Half Resolution (3964 x 1108) ( 1MB )
Quarter Resolution (1982 x 554) ( 312kB )
Tosol is (almost unbelievably) sol 2400 for Opportunity, so time for an update to my large scale route map.
Oppy has made great progress over the last 100 sols with a greater distance covered in the last 100 sols than in any other! She has covered almost exactly half the distance to Santa Maria Crater since sol 2300.
Also, as can be seen in the colour plot (where the colours indicate the ripple sizes) Oppy is now very close, less than 500m from the very flat 'parking lot' terrain (shown by the green colour). I doubt she'll move much faster once she gets there but it'll be a significant milestone in the long journey to Endeavour.
Here is the drive direction mosaic for sol 2379. It makes a change not to have the hills of Endeavour on the horizon for a change! (They start just off the right edge)
Full Resolution (3736 x 1220) ( 1MB )
Half Resolution (1868 x 610) ( 361kB )
A fantastic drive direction mosaic came down from sols 2369 & 2370 while Oppy is parked at Oilean Ruaidh. Tracks, ripples, nearby and distant pavement, (possibly) another meteorite and the 'twin peaks' on the north rim of Endeavour.
Full Resolution (3684 x 1172) ( 1MB )
Half Resolution (1842 x 586) ( 354kB )
The hills of Endeavour Crater yestersol (2364):
Full Resolution (2769 x 293) ( 336kB )
The 'drive direction' mosaic from sol 2358. Note all the exposed bedrock stretching ahead - much better driving territory than Oppy have been on since leaving Victoria crater.
Full Resolution (3624 x 1088) ( 1MB )
Half Resolution (1812 x 544) ( 384kB )
The R21 (red/blue) drive direction mosaic for sol 2353. Without a green channel and with the difference in the automatic raw image stretch (because the sky is very dark in the red channel at this time of year) the colour isn't very accurate - particularly the apparent blue sky.
Full Resolution (3610 x 1072) ( 1MB )
Half Resolution (1805 x 536) ( 372kB )
The Cambridge bay outcrop that Oppy spent a few sols investigating.
Full Resolution (5335 x 1402) ( 2MB )
Half Resolution (2667 x 701) ( 630kB )
Quarter Resolution (1333 x 350) ( 156kB )
Exaggerated false colour to bring out details:
Full Resolution (5336 x 1370) ( 2.7MB )
Half Resolution (2668 x 685) ( 717kB )
Quarter Resolution (1334 x 342) ( 180kB )
Opportunity has just entered a small area of small ripples, this is a small rest as it not the end of the ripples, there is still a couple of km to go until the 'parking lot' but there are no more large 'rover trap' ripple fields. I thought it would be a good time to revisit the ripple mapping work I did a year or two back, looking at the terrain between Oppy tosol (2328) and her next major destination Santa Maria Crater.
The map below covers the area from where Oppy is now, yellow dot in the top-left, to Santa Maria at the bottom-right. The colours represent the size of the ripples: green - no or insignificant ripples, blue - medium sized ripples that shouldn't be a rover hazard (like the ones Oppy has been crossing recently) and red - large ripples to avoid.
Oppy as just entered a small green island and will soon head back into more of the medium sized ripples that she has been crossing recently. Then after another 400m or so she'll start to encounter terrain that is a patchwork of medium ripple fields, small ripple fields, and pavement (which shows up as light blue patches in the image). I expect Oppy will be able to drive almost exclusively on the solid rock pavement for much of this. After about 2km, Oppy will be at the flat 'parking-lot' terrain like that around her landing site in Eagle crater. From there it's another 2km to Santa Maria.
1m/pixel Resolution (4152 x 768) ( 1MB )
2m/pixel Resolution (2076 x 384) ( 315kB )
The R21 colour drive direction mosaic from sol 2311.
Full Resolution (3573 x 1215) ( 1MB )
Half Resolution (1786 x 607) ( 272kB )