By Emily Poore
The Mars rover Opportunity has been cleaned of heavy dust coating its solar panels, thanks to some strong winds blowing over the rim of Endeavour Crater.
A self-portrait of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity taken in late March 2014 (right) shows that much of the dust on the rover’s solar arrays has been removed since a similar portrait from January 2014 (left).
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.
The “before” picture (left) was taken in early January, and the “after” picture (right) was captured late last month. The dramatic change occurred in mid-March, when strong winds swept over the rim of Endeavour crater and removed almost all of the accumulated dust.
Note the shadow of the rover’s main mast on the central solar panels; the rover can take a 360