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Press Release Images: Opportunity
20-Oct-2014
NASA Rover Opportunity Views Comet Near Mars
Press Release
Mars Rover Opportunity's View of Passing Comet
Mars Rover Opportunity's View of Passing Comet

Researchers used the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity to capture this 10-second-exposure view of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it passed near Mars on Oct. 19, 2014.

This image was taken about two-and-a-half hours before the closest approach of the comet's nucleus to Mars. The sky was still relatively dark, before Martian dawn. At the time of closest approach, the morning sky was too bright for observation of the comet.

The comet, some nearby stars, and some effects of cosmic rays hitting the camera's light detector are labeled.

The image has been processed by removal of detector artifacts and slight twilight glow. The duration of the exposure resulted in a 2.5-pixel smear from rotation of Mars.

A Martian dust storm to the west of Opportunity hampered visibility somewhat on Oct. 19, compared to the sky over Opportunity a week earlier.

For more information about comet Siding Spring, see http://mars.nasa.gov/comets/sidingspring/.

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


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Mars Rover Opportunity's View of Passing Comet (Short Exposure)
Mars Rover Opportunity's View of Passing Comet (Short Exposure)

Researchers used the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity to capture this view of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it passed near Mars on Oct. 19, 2014.

This image is from a 50-second exposure taken about two-and-a-half hours before the closest approach of the comet's nucleus to Mars. The sky was still relatively dark, before Martian dawn. At the time of closest approach, the morning sky was too bright for observation of the comet.

The comet, some nearby stars, and some effects of cosmic rays hitting the camera's light detector are labeled.

The image has been processed by removal of detector artifacts and slight twilight glow. The duration of the exposure resulted in a 12.5-pixel smear from rotation of Mars. The smear for the comet is at a slightly different angle from the others, due to the comet's own motion across the sky.

A Martian dust storm to the west of Opportunity hampered visibility somewhat on Oct. 19, compared to the sky over Opportunity a week earlier.

For more information about comet Siding Spring, see http://mars.nasa.gov/comets/sidingspring/.


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


Annotated
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Unannotated
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Mars Rover Opportunity's View of Comet (Blink of Two Exposures)
Mars Rover Opportunity's View of Comet (Blink of Two Exposures)

This two-image blink shows a comparison of two exposure times in images from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity showing comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it flew near Mars on Oct. 19, 2014.

The images were taken about two-and-a-half hours before the closest approach of the comet's nucleus to Mars, with exposure durations of 50 seconds and 10 seconds. The sky was still relatively dark, before Martian dawn. At the time of closest approach, the morning sky was too bright for observation of the comet.

The images have been processed by removal of detector artifacts and slight twilight glow. The duration of the exposure resulted in a 2.5-pixel smear from rotation of Mars.

A Martian dust storm to the west of Opportunity hampered visibility somewhat on Oct. 19, compared to the sky over Opportunity a week earlier.

For more information about comet Siding Spring, see http://mars.nasa.gov/comets/sidingspring/.



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


Browse Image | Full Resolution Image

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