Phoenix Camera Sees Morning Frost at the Landing Site

Aug 18, 2008
Water frost appears in this image the Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager took on Aug. 14, 2008, at 6 a.m. local Mars time on Sol 79, the 79th Martian day after landing. The frost begins to disappear shortly after 6 a.m. as the sun rises on the landing site. The sun was about 22 degrees above the horizon when SSI took the image. Light at that oblique angle enhanced the detail of the polygons, troughs and rocks in the surrounding terrain. The image is false-color, enhanced to bring out details in the terrain. (NASA/JPL-Calech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University)

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Surface Stereo Imager, or SSI, on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has seen water frost on the ground around the spacecraft's landing site.

Water frost appears in an image the SSI took on Aug. 14, 2008, at 6 a.m. local Mars time on Sol 79, the 79th Martian day after landing. The frost begins to disappear shortly after 6 a.m. as the sun rises on the landing site.

The sun was about 22 degrees above the horizon when SSI took the image. Light at that oblique angle enhanced the detail of the polygons, troughs and rocks in the surrounding terrain.

The SSI view was looking east-southeast, so the lander's eastern solar panel is visible in the bottom lefthand corner of the image. A rock informally named "Qaudlings" appears in the foreground, and another rock, called "Winkies," is located near the center of the image.

The science team enhanced the false-color image to show color variations. A larger view of the image is featured on the UA Phoenix Mars Mission gallery (phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/gallery.php).

The SSI camera has taken thousands of images from atop its mast on the lander deck since landing day, May 25, 2008. The science team has relied on the camera's stereo vision to guide them in choosing where to dig and in operating the robotic arm.

A team led by Chris Shinohara of the UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory built the SSI. Mark Lemmon of Texas A & M University, an alumnus of UA, is lead scientist for the camera.

Provided by University of Arizona

Explore further: Computer simulation suggests early Earth bombarded by asteroids and comets

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

1 hour ago

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

2 hours ago

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

2 hours ago

Giant anteaters in Brazil have killed two hunters in separate incidents, raising concerns about the animals' loss of habitat and the growing risk of dangerous encounters with people, researchers said.

US plans widespread seismic testing of sea floor

2 hours ago

(AP)—The U.S. government is planning to use sound blasting to conduct research on the ocean floor along most of the East Coast, using technology similar to that which led to a court battle by environmentalists in New Jersey.

Recommended for you

Exploring Mars in low Earth orbit

7 hours ago

In their quest to understand life's potential beyond Earth, astrobiologists study how organisms might survive in numerous environments, from the surface of Mars to the ice-covered oceans of Jupiter's moon, ...

Lifetime of gravity measurements heralds new beginning

9 hours ago

Although ESA's GOCE satellite is no more, all of the measurements it gathered during its life skirting the fringes our atmosphere, including the very last as it drifted slowly back to Earth, have been drawn ...

NASA's IceCube no longer on ice

13 hours ago

NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) has chosen a team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, to build its first Earth science-related CubeSat mission.

User comments : 0