COSMIC SECRETS
The Enigmas on Mars 46
Martian Clouds Above Phoenix
....
.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University 

September 29, 2008

The Surface Stereo Imager onboard NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander observed clouds drifting across the horizon in the early morning on the 119th sol, or Martian day, since landing (September 25, 2008). Clouds were observed each night after Sol 80 (August 15, 2008) as the atmospheric temperature decreased.

SOURCE: NASA Phoenix Lander


Clouds Move Across Mars Horizon
Phoenix Lander
....
.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University 

September 19, 2008

This sequence combines 32 images of clouds moving eastward across a Martian horizon. The Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander took this set of images on Sept. 18, 2008, during early afternoon hours of the 113th Martian day of the mission.

The view is toward the north. The actual elapsed time between the first image and the last image is nearly half an hour. The numbers inset at lower left are the elapsed time, in seconds, after the first image of the sequence. The particles in the clouds are water-ice, as in cirrus clouds on Earth.

Phoenix landed in the northern region of Mars on May 25, 2008. The mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

SOURCE: NASA Phoenix Lander


Nighttime Clouds in Martian Arctic
(Accelerated Movie)
..
.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University

September 11, 2008

An angry looking sky is captured in a movie clip consisting of 10 frames taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander.

The clip accelerates the motion. The images were take around 3 a.m. local solar time at the Phoenix site during Sol 95 (Aug. 30), the 95th Martian day since landing.

The swirling clouds may be moving generally in a westward direction over the lander.

The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.

SOURCE: NASA Phoenix Lander


Ice Clouds in Martian Arctic
(Accelerated Movie)
..
.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University

September 01, 2008

Clouds scoot across the Martian sky in a movie clip consisting of 10 frames taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander.

This clip accelerates the motion. The camera took these 10 frames over a 10-minute period from 2:52 p.m. to 3:02 p.m. local solar time at the Phoenix site during Sol 94 (Aug. 29), the 94th Martian day since landing.

Particles of water-ice make up these clouds, like ice-crystal cirrus clouds on Earth. Ice hazes have been common at the Phoenix site in recent days.

The camera took these images as part of a campaign by the Phoenix team to see clouds and track winds. The view is toward slightly west of due south, so the clouds are moving westward or west-northwestward.

The clouds are a dramatic visualization of the Martian water cycle. The water vapor comes off the north pole during the peak of summer. The northern-Mars summer has just passed its peak water-vapor abundance at the Phoenix site. The atmospheric water is available to form into clouds, fog and frost, such as the lander has been observing recently.

The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver. 

SOURCE: NASA Phoenix Lander


Martian Sunrise at Phoenix Landing Site
Sol 101
....
.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University

September 29, 2008

This sequence of nine images taken by the Surface Stereo Imager on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander shows the sun rising on the morning of the lander's 101st Martian day after landing.

The images were taken on Sept. 5, 2008. The local solar times at the landing site for the nine images were between 1:23 a.m. and 1:41 a.m.

The landing site is on far-northern Mars, and the mission started in late northern spring. For nearly the entire first 90 Martian days of the mission, the sun never set below the horizon. As the amount of sunshine each day declined steadily after that, so has the amount of electricity available for the solar-powered spacecraft.

The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by JPL, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development was by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver. 

SOURCE: NASA Phoenix Lander


Disappearing Ice
Sol 20 and Sol 24
....
.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University

June 19, 2008

These images were acquired by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's Surface Stereo Imager on the 21st and 25th days of the mission, or Sols 20 and 24 (June 15 and 19, 2008).

These images show sublimation of ice in the trench informally called "Dodo-Goldilocks" over the course of four days.

In the lower left corner, lumps disappear, similar to the process of evaporation.

The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver. 

SOURCE: NASA Phoenix Lander

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