Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Clouds over Opportunity Site

By SpaceRef Editor
May 4, 2004
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-716, 4 May 2004

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

In recent weeks, the
Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
blue wide angle images have been showing clouds high
in the atmosphere over the Mars Exploration Rover (MER-B),
Opportunity, landing site in Meridiani Planum. This view of the
sunward limb of Mars shows an example. It was
acquired by the MOC blue camera late last week on
29 April 2004. The “x” shows the location of the rover
site. The bright features in this image are
water ice clouds. The dark portion of the image on
the left is outer space. Clouds can also be seen in a zone
approximately 20 to 40 kilometers (12-25 miles) above
the martian limb. North is approximately up, east is
toward the right, and sunlight illuminates the scene
from the left (west). The image runs along the limb
from about latitudes 4°S to about 2°N.

Additional details about clouds over the Opportunity
rover site have been described in the recent
Mars Exploration Rover weather reports

Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology
built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission.
MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, California.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Mars Surveyor Operations Project
operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial
partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena,
California and Denver, Colorado.

SpaceRef staff editor.