I know we're sliding into autumn for real when the sun's no longer up when my alarm clock goes off at 5:30 am (!). My daily attitude is definitely controlled by the sun - on sunny days I'm bouncy and energetic, and rainy days make me want to curl up on the sofa with a good novel and a warm cat. As the amount of sunlight in my day shrinks, I feel like I lose energy - just like our little friends on Mars. So we're all very relieved and happy that Spirit made it through the depths of another Martian winter with even enough energy to continue doing at least a little bit of science nearly every day. Power levels are on the rise again, little by little, and the rover appears to be in good health. Of course, the rover doesn't have to wake up until local sunrise *yawn* .
Opportunity, being near the equator, has my perfect life - sunny and warm year-round. She continues to zip along toward Victoria Crater, whose ejecta blanket turned out to look a lot like the normal Meridiani plains - flat, hard, some sand drifts. On sol 929 Opportunity almost got a hole-in-one by driving 100.31 meters to the small crater Emma Dean, where we are trying to look at what the bedrock in the ejecta blanket is. We got our last good look at the "normal" Meridiani rock at Beagle Crater (yes, another shameless plug for a caption I wrote). It's a really spectacular mosaic - and - there's a super-cool quicktime window you can open and scroll around the panorama from the center. Sweet!