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.
In this image the large channel from the previous image is just visible at the bottom left of the frame. The rough appearing dark material at the bottom of the image was likely deposited by the large channel. This image shows how close that material is to Mt. Sharp and also how different the two deposits appear in a visible wavelength image.
Orbit Number: 33966 Latitude: -5.24338 Longitude: 137.195 Instrument: VIS Captured: 2009-08-11 01:10
Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University
Note: This is the 24th 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 #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...).