The Bruce Murray Space Image Library
Color version of the 'Phoenix Descending' HiRISE image
Filed under pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, Phoenix, Mars, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
When the HiRISE camera captured the image of Phoenix descending under its parachute, it also captured some color data, though unfortunately not on top of Phoenix. The gaps between the color strips are caused by the fact that the camera's detector is actually made up of 14 staggered CCDs, and the spacecraft had to slew at an angle in order not to capture a distorted view of Phoenix. Most of the color information indicates that the landscape is the usual red of Mars, but some blue spots indicate the presence of frost inside Heimdall crater.
NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona
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Original image data dated on or about May 25, 2008
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