Ice Cold Sunrise on Mars

Aug 27, 2008
This red-filter image taken by the Phoenix landers Surface Stereo Imager shows the sun rising on the morning of sol 90 (Aug. 25), the last day of the Phoenix nominal mission. The Phoenix Mars mission has been extended through the end of September 2008. (NASA/JPL-Calech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University)

(PhysOrg.com) -- From the location of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, above the Martian arctic circle, the sun does not set during the peak of the Martian summer.

This period of maximum solar energy is past – on Sol 86, the 86th Martian day after the Phoenix landing, the sun fully set behind a slight rise to the north for about half an hour.

The lander's Surface Stereo Imager took a red-filter image that shows the sun rising on the morning of sol 90 (Aug. 25), the last day of the Phoenix nominal mission.

The image was taken at 51 minutes past midnight local solar time during the slow sunrise that followed a 75 minute "night."

The skylight in the image is light scattered off atmospheric dust particles and ice crystals.

The setting sun does not mean the end of the mission. In late July, the mission was extended through September, rather than the 90-sol duration originally planned as the prime mission.

The Phoenix mission is led by Peter Smith from The University of Arizona with project management at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and development partnership at Lockheed Martin, Denver. International contributions come from the Canadian Space Agency; the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland; the universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus in Denmark; the Max Planck Institute in Germany; and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

Provided by University of Arizona

Explore further: NASA's Dawn spacecraft moves in on dwarf planet Ceres

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Why your laptop battery won't kill you

2 hours ago

News on Tuesday that major U.S. airlines are no longer going to ship powerful lithium-ion batteries might lead some to fret about the safety of their personal electronic devices.

Visa, MasterCard moving into mobile pay in Africa

2 hours ago

Americans may just be getting used to mobile pay, but consumers in many African countries have been paying with their phones for years. Now payment processors Visa and MasterCard want to get a slice of that market, and are ...

Lightning plus volcanic ash make glass

2 hours ago

In their open-access paper for Geology, Kimberly Genareau and colleagues propose, for the first time, a mechanism for the generation of glass spherules in geologic deposits through the occurrence of volcan ...

Recommended for you

Testing to diagnose power event in Mars rover

22 hours ago

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is expected to remain stationary for several days of engineering analysis following an onboard fault-protection action on Feb. 27 that halted a process of transferring sample material ...

ESA experts assess risk from exploded satellite

23 hours ago

After studying the recent explosive break-up of a US satellite, ESA space debris experts have concluded this event does not increase the collision risk to nearby ESA missions in any meaningful way.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.