Remember Comet Siding Spring? Mars Orbiter Mission got photos, too
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla
19-11-2014 13:57 CST
Back when I wrote my summary of all the Mars missions' observations of comet Siding Spring, there was one mission that had not yet announced whether or not they'd successfully gathered data: ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission. Amidst the hoopla over the Philae landing last week, they finally released not one but five images of the comet collected by their Mars Colour Camera:
I'm not exactly sure what, if anything, to take away from these photos. They are not of very high quality, but part of the problem seems to be a severe amount of JPEG compression applied to them before posting -- I assume the original data look somewhat better. The original image (posted on Twitter November 12) included caption information describing the top center image as showing a comet jet, but I'm quite dubious of that interpretation -- it looks like stray light to me, an imaging artifact. I post them here mostly in order to complete the set of Mars mission observations of comet Siding Spring! I look forward to future science meetings where scientists will present and discuss all the Mars spacecraft work on the comet.