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Space Science

First Picture from Mars Odyssey 8

Insitus writes: "NASA releases the first images from the Mars Odyssey." Not very exciting, but I guess with the dust storm this is as good as they get.
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First Picture from Mars Odyssey

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  • Mars Odyssey (Score:1, Informative)

    by NeoTomba ( 462540 )
    Here's some other useful links, for the inquisitive amongst us:

    2001 Mars Odyssey home page: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/odyssey/

    Direct link to the first image and explanation:
    http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/odyssey/gallery/latest/ la test2001/01oct31.html

    Explanation of the Mars Odyssey on HowStuffWorks:
    http://www.howstuffworks.com/mars-odyssey.htm

    Mission Overview:
    http://www.marsnews.com/missions/2001/

    Enjoy!

    -NeoTomba
  • Uh, no. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Bamfarooni ( 147312 )
    First, there are no significant dust storms on Mars right now. [tes] It hasn't been very dusty for a month now.

    Second, that image was taken during aerobraking from an altitude of 22,000 kilometers, as opposed to MGS's 400km orbit.

    Third, it's a thermal infra-red image, showing surface temperature. Half of the image is being taken on the night-time side of the planet, in the dark. It doesn't show bright and dark regions like most images because it is measuring surface temperature, not brightness.

    The interesting parts are how much thermal variation there is in the polar cap, considering it's a solid sheet of CO2 ice, and the temperature variations between the bottoms and tops of some of the craters.

    The original image is here. [asu.edu] The space.com copy has been shrunk and doesn't show any detail.
  • I was looking forward to seeing some interesting pictures, but for now I'd say the drawing on CNN's website of the Odyssey over Mars is more exciting :\

  • That's a really boring picture - of course, I don't really know anything about Mars, or space photography, so I could be wrong.
    Can someone explain to me if this photograph shows anything truly interesting, or is it just a test as the article says?
    • I don't think that NASA was expecting much from that picture. They really weren't looking for anything, just testing the camera. As someone else said, this photograph was taken from like 22,000k from the planet, but it won't settle into its orbit (at about 400k???) until sometime in Jan/Feb.

      That said, I think that the picture is pretty cool. Just by looking at it, you can see the differences in temp between the dark side of the planet and the light side. Also, you can see how cold the CO2 polar ice caps are.

      The two things that I found most interesting were:
      1. At the top of the photo, you can see a little streak of blue. I belive that is the atmosphere. It's pretty cold!

      2. The polar region of Mars is habitiable during the day! If you look at the temp scale, red corresponds to 0 degrees celcius. That's the freezing point (on earth) of water. People are able to survive in those conditions!

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