The Bruce Murray Space Image Library
Five views of the Phoenix lander from HiRISE
Filed under pics of spacecraft in space, pretty pictures, amateur image processing, Phoenix, Mars, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, animation
From the day of its landing to January 2010, the HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter obtained photos of the Phoenix lander on Mars. There was a long hiatus in imaging during the Martian winter, when there was not sufficient light for HiRISE to see by; there followed another several-month hiatus while Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was in safe mode. It obtained two photos of Phoenix in the slanting light of northern spring before going into safe mode on August 26, 2009. The difference between the views from 2008 and 2009 may reflect some differences at the landing site (the presence of frost, for instance) but has at least as much to do with the extremely oblique lighting in the 2009 images. The January 2010 image, obtained after the spacecraft came out of safe mode, is under much better lighting conditions.
NASA / JPL / UA / animation by Emily Lakdawalla
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Original image data dated on or about January 6, 2010
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