Monday, May 26, 2008

Postcard from Phoenix Mars lander.

This false colour postcard image, one of the first captured by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, shows the vast plains of the northern polar region of Mars. The flat landscape is strewn with tiny pebbles and shows polygonal cracking, a pattern seen widely in Martian high latitudes and also observed in permafrost terrains on Earth. The polygonal cracking is believed to have resulted from seasonal freezing and thawing of surface ice.

The B&W image below was acquired at the Phoenix landing site on day 1 of the mission on the surface of Mars, or Sol 0, after the May 25, 2008, landing. The surface stereo imager left acquired this image at 17:07:41 local solar time.

Stereo anaglyph produced my me.

... or the Stereo card version, where you cross your eyes, which I prefer.
Photos & text credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona