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 conjunctionthe THEMIS image of the day will be a visual tour of Gale Crater, the location of the newest rover Curiosity.
The highest elevations of Mt. Sharp are just outside this image (to the east). In the center of this image is a channel. This channel indicates that fluids have played a part in eroding Mt. Sharp. Other erosion features indicate that wind probably also has played a part in eroding the deposit.
Orbit Number: 35214 Latitude: -5.15393 Longitude: 137.472 Instrument: VIS Captured: 2009-11-21 19:07
Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University
Note: This is the fifteenth 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...).