Sunday, October 19, 2008

UA HiRISE camera spots Mars Rover

The UA HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured a picture of the Spirit Rover on the Mars surface.

From the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) website:

Clear skies and low-angle sunlight are an outdoor photographer’s dream. On the shortest day of Martian winter, June 24, 2008, Spirit had both. Conditions were ideal for an orbiter’s shot of the Mars rover parked on the sunlit slope of a volcanic plateau. Shadows outlined shapes in the landscape, such as the upturned edges of the bowl-shaped plateau known as “Home Plate.” Shadows also reveal nearby ridges, slopes, and large boulders. Spirit is the dark “bump,” marked by a yellow arrow.

Detailed images such as this one will help scientists select a future path for Spirit. For plotting a path on Mars, a powerful orbiting camera, long shadows, and a clear sky are about as good as it gets.

Thanks to Tom's Astroblog for noting this. A more detailed picture is there and on the MER website.

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