More Amazing Phoenix Pictures

Not by Phoenix, but of Phoenix, on the surface, taken by the HiRISE camera from orbit aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Mission. (For another stunning view of the lander, the heat shield and the parachute in context, click here.

We expect to find three main pieces of hardware: the parachute attached to the backshell, the heat shield, and the lander itself.The parachute (bottom) is easy to identify because it is especially bright, and this image also clearly shows the backshell. We can even see the stripes on the parachute.

The dark marking (middle right) appears most consistent with disturbance of the ground from impact and bouncing of the heat shield, which fell from a height of about 13 kilometers.

The last object (top) is the lander, and we can clearly see the solar arrays on each side. The solar arrays were relatively dark in the image acquired 11 hours after landing, but are brighter than the Mars surface in this daytime image acquired with the HiRISE blue-green filter.

I appreciate all the hits I’ve been getting on these reports of this lander. It’s great to see so much interest! But my reports are secondary to The Planetary Society‘s reports (see here, too) and especially Phil Plait, who really picked up the slack when the Planetary Society’s servers came under a DOS attack.

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