This is the first HiRISE image to contain the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity’s landing site in color. The lander, parachute, and heat shield that took Opportunity safely to the surface are still where the rover left them, and this color view reveals subtle details of the disturbed ground around the hardware. The color of the hardware sets it apart from the natural rocks and sand of Meridiani Planum.
The first image of Opportunity’s landing site taken after landing was acquired by the Mars Orbiter Camera on Mars Global Surveyor in 2004. HiRISE first imaged the area in November 2006 over 1 Mars year after landing. This image shows changes relative to the MOC image, including erasure of the marks made by the landing rockets where the airbag-shrouded lander first bounced on the surface.
The lander is visible as a darker center amid the reddish airbags, resting at the center of the bowl of Eagle Crater. … (HiRISE)