Up-to-the-minute map of the Phoenix landing site
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla
20-05-2008 13:22 CDT
EDIT: I've corrected an error in the location of the ellipses on the geologic map below.
Those of you who are following the Phoenix mission via its Twitter messages have read that they performed a late adjustment to the target point, shifting it 18 kilometers to the northwest of its previous location (which was, confusingly, 13 kilometers to the southeast of the target point on most maps you can find on the Internet). Since I was befuddled about what that meant about Phoenix' target location, I asked for help from Tim Parker at JPL, who is the acknowledged master of locating and mapping the landing sites of Mars missions, past and future. Tim graciously provided me with the map that he said he will be using on the day of the landing, which shows the current location of the 1, 2, and 3-sigma landing ellipses (for more on what that means, check out my entry with Rob Manning's explanations on that topic). And, for reference, he said that the target point is now 68.151 degrees north, 233.975 degrees east. I've updated my Phoenix landing site page accordingly. Many thanks to Tim!
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