Martian Weather Activity on Short Timescales
Captioned Image Release No. MSSS-70 — 23 February 2009
This trio of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Context Camera (CTX) images shows an area in the Icaria Planum region (near 39.5°S, 103.2°W) before, during, and after a local dust-raising event occurred in October 2008. In the middle frame, taken only five days after the left image, dust blowing from the west to the east (from the left to the right of the frame) obscures much of the image. The right image was taken after the dust-raising event subsided and shows that no apparent changes in appearance of the surface (such as formation of wind streaks) resulted from the event. The images cover an area approximately 30 km (18.6 mi) wide and 60 km (37.3 mi) long. Illumination is from the upper left and north is slightly to the right of the top of the image.
In addition to the dust storm, there are other features of note in this region. A valley enters the larger crater near the center of these CTX images from the right; sediment transported through the valley formed a fan-shaped feature at its mouth. These images were taken during southern winter, and seasonal frost can be seen as bright areas on the northern walls of the craters.
Shown here are CTX images B02_010226_1406_XI_39S103W_081001, B02_010292_1406_XI_39S103W_081006, and B03_010648_1406_XI_39S103W_081103. They are presented at 1/7th scale.
Citation and Credit
Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) built and operates the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Mars Color Imager (MARCI) and Context Camera (CTX). MSSS also built and operated the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC). In addition, MSSS built the Mars Odyssey (ODY) Thermal Emission Imaging Spectrometer (THEMIS) Visible (VIS) camera subsystem, which shares optics with the thermal infrared instrument and is operated at Arizona State University (ASU). MSSS also built the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) for the Phoenix Mars Scout lander and the suite of high resolution cameras aboard the 2009 Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). MSSS is currently working on cameras for the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover mission and the 2011 Juno Mission to Jupiter.