NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona / Doug Ellison
Spirit explores Home Plate
More than a year of Spirit's examination of the feature in Gusev Crater known as Home Plate is chronicled in this animation of nine images from the HiRISE camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The images cover an area approximately 100 meters square. The geometry of Home Plate appears to shift from image to image because the orbiter often had to turn to one side or the other of its orbital track across Mars in order to view Spirit, so usually saw the raised topography of Home Plate from a point that was not directly over Spirit's head. However, some of the apparent shifts in features are also real shifts in the distribution of dust around Home Plate with shifting winds and seasons. The global dust storm of 2007 almost completely blocks the view of Spirit at one point during the animation.