Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Blogs

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Mars Orbiter Mission Methane Sensor for Mars is at work

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

04-03-2015 10:50 CST

Topics: Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), pretty pictures, atmospheres, mission status, Mars, Phobos

After several months of near-silence, ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission has released on Facebook the first data product from its Methane Sensor For Mars. Don't get too excited about methane yet: the methane sensor data does not yet indicate the presence or absence of methane in the atmosphere. The excellent news here is that the Methane Sensor for Mars is working, systematically gathering data.

The map shows the reflectance of the surface of Mars in the methane sensor's reference channel, a wavelength in which atmospheric methane is transparent to infrared radiation. The data that underlie this map will eventually be compared to the methane sensor's other channel, a wavelength in which methane absorbs light, to attempt to map methane at the part-per-billion level in Mars' atmosphere.

Early results from the Mars Orbiter Mission Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM) instrument

SAC / ISRO

Early results from the Mars Orbiter Mission Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM) instrument
The Methane Sensor for Mars has two channels, one sensitive to methane and one to measure the background reflectance of Mars at a wavelength of 1.65 microns (a wavelength at which methane is transparent) for calibration purposes. The reflectance of Mars in this reference channel will be compared to its reflectance in a channel where methane is opaque to measure the abundance of atmospheric methane. This graphic contains data acquired up to December 15, 2014.

At the same time, the mission posted on their newly redesigned website several new photos from the Mars Colour Camera, including this very fine one of Valles Marineris:

Valles Marineris from Mars Orbiter Mission

ISRO

Valles Marineris from Mars Orbiter Mission

And this appears to be a much better-resolution version image from the series of Phobos images that I wrote about previously. I love the thin line of the Martian atmosphere in this view.

Phobos near the limb of Mars from Mars Orbiter Mission

SAC / ISRO

Phobos near the limb of Mars from Mars Orbiter Mission
Likely taken on October 14, 2014, near 11:25 UT.

This oblique view of Arsia Mons is clearly a rendered product using a digital elevation model; they didn't indicate whether the digital elevation model was created from Mars Orbiter Mission data or uses other data sets (like Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter data). I will ask to see if I can get more information!

Oblique view of Arsia Mons from Mars Orbiter Mission

ISRO

Oblique view of Arsia Mons from Mars Orbiter Mission
 
See other posts from March 2015

 

Or read more blog entries about: Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), pretty pictures, atmospheres, mission status, Mars, Phobos

Comments:

Jonathan Ursin: 03/04/2015 09:52 CST

Too late. I am already too excited!

Prakash Chauhan: 03/05/2015 01:53 CST

Emily the rendering of Arsia Mons is created using MOLA data.

Nik: 03/07/2015 05:05 CST

From Isro-MOM's Facebook page - Three dimensional view of Arsia Mons created by draping the Mars color Camera (MCC) image on Topography of the region derived from Mars Orbiter Laser Altimter (MOLA). This Image of Arsia Mons region taken by Mars color camera on board ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission on 4-01-2015 at a spatial resolution of 556 m from an altitude of 10707 km. Volcanic deposits located at the flanks of the Mons are seen in this image.

John: 03/09/2015 12:42 CDT

Emily, thank you. I await further methane observations. \ I am a little confused. How is Phobos below the orbital plane of MOM? Best wishes, John

Shreyansh: 03/14/2015 05:36 CDT

Phobos is below the orbital plane of MOM because MOM has a highly elliptical orbit, and it must be farther away from Mars than Phobos at that point of time.

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Essential Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process.

Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.

Donate

Featured Images

NGC 4100
The Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405)
LDN 604 and GGD 30
Schiaparelli backshell and parachute landing location from HiRISE in color
More Images

Featured Video

The Planetary Post - Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!