First pictures show bizarre martian world

The Opportunity rover unfolded its solar panels and beamed back its first snapshots of Mars four hours after landing today, providing stunning views of nearby slab-like rock formations, the first bedrock ever seen on the red planet. The images also showed what to this point is the smoothest fine-grain soil ever seen on Mars. “Welcome to Meridiani! I hope you enjoy your stay!” Flight director Chris Lewicki told his landing team as they marveled at the flood of photos. “You are privileged to be in one of the most exciting rooms on Earth at the moment.”