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: Successful engine test enables SpaceX Falcon 9 soar to space station in Jan. 2015

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientific instruments of Rosetta's Philae lander

Sep 23, 2014

When traveling to far off lands, one packs carefully. What you carry must be comprehensive but not so much that it is a burden. And once you arrive, you must be prepared to do something extraordinary to make ...

A salty, martian meteorite offers clues to habitability

Aug 28, 2014

Life as we know it requires energy of some sort to survive and thrive. For plants, that source of energy is the Sun. But there are some microbes that can survive using energy from chemical reactions. Some ...

Study links urbanization and future heat-related mortality

May 30, 2014

Phoenix stands at a parched crossroads. Global scale climate change is forecast to bring hotter summers and more extreme heat to the Valley, but regional urbanization also will impact temperatures experienced by residents.

Changing climate in your own backyard

Mar 10, 2014

When you think of climate, you probably think of it on a large scale. Global climate change may come to mind, or the climate of a large region, like Northern Europe or the desert Southwest.

Recommended for you

The top 101 astronomical events to watch for in 2015

18 hours ago

Now in its seventh year of compilation and the second year running on Universe Today, we're proud to feature our list of astronomical happenings for the coming year. Print it, bookmark it, hang it on your ...

NASA image: Frosty slopes on Mars

22 hours ago

This image of an area on the surface of Mars, approximately 1.5 by 3 kilometers in size, shows frosted gullies on a south-facing slope within a crater.

Opportunity rover struggles with flash memory problems

Dec 24, 2014

NASA's Opportunity Mars rover, also known as "Oppy", is continuing its traverse southward on the western rim of Endeavour Crater despite computer resets and "amnesia" that have occurred after reformatting ...

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.