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.
This image shows the southwestern floor of Gale Crater. A fairly large channel that dissects the crater rim is visible entering from the bottom of the frame and continuing northward.
Orbit Number: 34877 Latitude: -5.2813 Longitude: 137.111 Instrument: VIS Captured: 2009-10-25 01:17
Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University
Note: This is the 23rd 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 this image (#23), the images are being shown from west to east, slightly south of the previous series. 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...).