Photograph - Nasa Photography; Digital Manipulation
Photo of Planet Mars, as seen from the Phoenix Mars Lander and rendered by artist Nikki Smith. This combines hundreds of images taken during the first several weeks after NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander arrived on an arctic plain at 68.22 degrees north latitude, 234.25 degrees east longitude on Mars. The landing was on May 25, 2008. These images were first combined into a 360 degree panorama and then converted to a "planet view" (stereographic projection) by artist Nikki Smith.
Note that there is a vanishing point (pinch) in the center of the image where the robotic arm could not photograph itself.
Shown in approximately true color, this shows the polygonal patterning of ground at the landing area, similar to patterns in permafrost areas on Earth. Trenches where Phoenix's robotic arm has been exposing subsurface material are visible. The spacecraft's meteorology mast, topped by the telltale wind gauge, extends into the sky.
December 5th, 2011
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