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.
As we begin to move back eastward across the southern part of Gale Crater, this image shows more of the dark material deposited from the large channel through the SW rim of the crater. In this image that material has a sharp edge (center of frame) where it overlays the crater floor.
Orbit Number: 31708 Latitude: -5.79428 Longitude: 137.335 Instrument: VIS Captured: 2009-02-06 02:41
Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University
Note: This is the 25th 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...).