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Press Release Images: Spirit
30-Aug-2006
 
This horizontal succession of three black-and-white panoramas shows lengthening shadows around a wheel track that extends upward from the bottom of the mosaic into the distance. The middle of the track is dark gray; around it the soil is light gray. On the left edge of the track is a thin trace of white sediment churned up by the rover's dragging right front wheel. The rover's shadow extends across much of the image on the far right.
Shadows Draw Attention to Features of Mars Landscape (Rover Tracks)

Taking advantage of lengthening shadows during the onset of winter and at different times of day, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this series of images accentuating subtle features in the terrain. Images acquired at low sun angles allow scientists to better understand differences in surface roughness among soils and rocks. Variations in how brightly sunlight reflects off surfaces under different lighting conditions help scientists estimate the microscopic physical characteristics of the mineral grains in different rocks and soils. Shadows from the rover itself are visible in the foreground of the late-afternoon mosaic and cover part of the rover's tracks and disturbed, light-toned soils.

Spirit acquired these sets of images at different local true solar times (LTST) on Martian days, known as sols, 930 (Aug. 15, 2006), 931 (Aug. 16, 2006), and 935 (Aug. 20, 2006) using the 601-nanometer filter of the panoramic camera. Spirit acquired the mosaics of the rover's tracks, composed of three frames each, with the panoramic camera turned to an azimuth of 110 degrees (east-southeast).

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell
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This horizontal succession of three single-frame, black-and-white images shows sand ripples dotted with rocks that cast lengthening shadows as the images move from left to right.
Shadows Draw Attention to Features of Mars Landscape (Sand Ripples)

Taking advantage of lengthening shadows during the onset of winter and at different times of day, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this series of images accentuating subtle features in the terrain. Images acquired at low sun angles allow scientists to better understand differences in surface roughness among soils and rocks. Variations in how brightly sunlight reflects off surfaces under different lighting conditions help scientists estimate the microscopic physical characteristics of the mineral grains in different rocks and soils. Shadows from the rover itself are visible in the foreground of the late-afternoon mosaic and cover part of the rover's tracks and disturbed, light-toned soils. Spirit acquired these sets of images at different Local True Solar Times on martian days, known as sols, 930 (Aug. 15, 2006), 931 (Aug. 16, 2006), and 935 (Aug. 20, 2006) using the 601-nanometer filter of the panoramic camera. Spirit acquired the single-frame images of sand ripples with the panoramic camera turned to an azimuth of 290 degrees (west-northwest).

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell
Browse Image | Medium Image (69 kB) | Large (262 kB)

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