During the month of April Mars will be in conjunction relative to the Earth. This means the Sun is in the line-of-sight between Earth and Mars, and communication between the two planets is almost impossible. For conjunction, the rovers and orbiting spacecraft at Mars continue to operate, but do not send the data to Earth. This recorded data will be sent to Earth when Mars moves away from the sun and the line-of-sight between Earth and Mars is reestablished. During conjunction the THEMIS image of the day will be a visual tour of Gale Crater, the location of the newest rover Curiosity.
This image shows the western margin of Mt. Sharp. The large channel from past images enters the frame in the center and then veers to the northwest. A large region of sand and sand dunes covers the crater floor.
Orbit Number: 39120 Latitude: -5.05204 Longitude: 137.134 Instrument: VIS Captured: 2010-10-09 09:52
Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University
Note: This is the nineteenth in a series of images in which the THEMIS team is currently showing the central region of Gale Crater, starting at the eastern rim and moving past Mount Sharp to the western rim. Starting with image #9, the images are being shown from east to west. All of the images in this series I will name "Gale Crater (XXXX) #Y", in which XXXX is the year in which the photo was actually taken, and Y is the sequence number (1 through...).