During the month of April Mars will be in conjunction relative to the Earth. This means the Sun is in the line-of-sight between Earth and Mars, and communication between the two planets is almost impossible. For conjunction, the rovers and orbiting spacecraft at Mars continue to operate, but do not send the data to Earth. This recorded data will be sent to Earth when Mars moves away from the sun and the line-of-sight between Earth and Mars is reestablished. During conjunction the THEMIS image of the day will be a visual tour of Gale Crater, the location of the newest rover Curiosity.
Continuing westward, this image shows Mt. Sharp just east of the highest peak of the deposit. The dark material near the top of the image is likely sand. This image shows the dark material on the floor as well as on Mt. Sharp.
Orbit Number: 34540 Latitude: -4.85635 Longitude: 138.099 Instrument: VIS Captured: 2009-09-27 07:24
Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University
Note: This is the twelfth in a series of images in which the THEMIS team is currently showing the central region of Gale Crater, starting at the eastern rim and moving past Mount Sharp to the western rim. Starting with image #9, the images are being shown from east to west. All of the images in this series I will name "Gale Crater (XXXX) #Y", in which XXXX is the year in which the photo was actually taken, and Y is the sequence number (1 through...).