Dusty Mars Rover’s Self Portrait

Dusty Mars Rover’s Self Portrait

This self mural from NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows dirt accumulation on a rover’s solar panels as a goal approached a fifth Martian winter. The dirt reduces a rover’s energy supply, and a rover’s mobility is singular until a winter is over or breeze cleans a panels.

This is a mosaic of images taken by Opportunity’s breathtaking camera (Pancam) during a 2,111th to 2,814th Martian days, or sols, of a rover’s goal (Dec. 21 to Dec. 24, 2011). The downward-looking viewpoint omits a pillar on that a camera is mounted.

The mural is presented in guess loyal color, a camera team’s best guess of what a stage would demeanour like if humans were there and means to see it with their possess eyes.

Opportunity has worked by 4 Martian southern hemisphere winters given it landed in in Jan 2004 about 14 miles (23 kilometers) northwest of a stream location. Closer to a equator than a twin rover, Spirit, Opportunity has not indispensable to stay on a sun-facing slope during a prior winters. Now, however, Opportunity’s solar panels lift a thicker cloaking of dust, and a group is regulating a plan employed for 3 winters with Spirit: staying on a sun-facing slope. The object will pass comparatively low in a northern sky from a rover’s viewpoint for several months of condensed illumination before and after a southern Mars winter solstice on Mar 30, 2012. Opportunity is conducting investigate while located on a north-facing slope of a site called “Greeley Haven.”

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.