Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gale Crater (2002) #14

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.

We've moved slightly westward of yesterday's image and see one of the unusual features of Mt. Sharp. The highest elevation of the layered deposit occurs at the top of this image, but just south of the center of the image is a peak that does not appear to be layered and is eroding in a different manner than the rest of Mt. Sharp. This location and appearance of this rugged peak point to it being the remnant of a central peak formed at the time Gale Crater was created.

Orbit Number: 1132 Latitude: -5.29355 Longitude: 137.84 Instrument: VIS Captured: 2002-03-17 17:34

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University

Note: This is the fourteenth 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...).

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