Status Report

Martian Surface as seen by NASA Spirit’s mini-thermal emission spectrometer

By SpaceRef Editor
January 10, 2004
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This image shows the martian terrain through the eyes of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit’s mini-thermal emission spectrometer, an instrument that detects the infrared light, or heat, emitted by objects. The different colored circles show a spectrum of soil and rock temperatures, with red representing warmer regions and blue, cooler. A warm and dusty depression similar to the one dubbed Sleepy Hollow stands out to the upper right. Scientists and engineers will use this data to pinpoint features of interest, and to plot a safe course for the rover free of loose dust. The mini-thermal emission spectrometer data are superimposed on an image taken by the rover’s panoramic camera.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University/Cornell University

Click on image to enlarge

SpaceRef staff editor.