Mars isn’t exactly the warmest place during the winter transition, but as the first few rays of sunshine lick at the planet’s surface we’re able to make out the Phoenix lander shivering under a cover of dry-ice frost.
We’re able to see the lander in the images taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter despite the low-light conditions and the reflective effects of the carbon dioxide frost. The HiRISE team did have to play around with the contrast and angles to get the image we see, but how many pictures pass without some sort of processing anyway.
Photos like this one are intended to help us understand the winter patterns and transitions of Mars better, but all I understand at the moment is need to drink a cup of hot chocolate on behalf of the Phoenix lander. [HiRISE via NASA]