India’s groundbreaking Mars Orbiter Mission (Mom) has returned stunning images, revealing an enormous canyon and its moon Phobos in orbit.
The spacecraft itself entered orbit around Mars in September 2014, and has now started returning key data as its mission continues.
This included the switching on of a new methane sensor yesterday, which has allowed scientists to measure the amount of radiation on the Martian surface – and could help in the search for life.
The latest images, released by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), include a spectacular 3D view of Arsia Mons, a huge volcano on the surface of Mars that has its peak 10 miles (16km) high.
Volcanic despoits can be seen on the flanks of the mountain in the image, which was mapped from an altitude of 6,653 miles (10,707km) and has a resolution of 1,824ft (556 metres) per pixel.
The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (Mola) instrument on the spacecraft was used to help map the topography of the region.
An equally spectacular image reveals Phobos, one of the two moons orbiting Mars (the other is Deimos), silhouetted against the Martian surface.
Although Phobos is the larger of the two moons, it is still only about 14 miles (22km) across, and completes an orbit of Mars once every seven Earth hours.
The images were taken with the Mars Colour Camera (MCC) on the spacecraft, which weighs 2.9lbs (1.3kg) and is used to view the surface of Mars and its moons.
In a close-up view of the surface, the MCC captured a shot of the huge Valles Marineris Canyon – which at more than 2,500 miles (4,000km) long is one of the largest canyons in the solar system, covering nearly a fifth the circumference of Mars.
The image was taken from an altitude of 15,000 miles (24,000km), with a resolution of about 0.7 miles (1.2km) per pixel.
A portion of the canyon known as Eos Chaos was also observed by the spacecraft, revealing fracture patterns in the surface.
The images of the surface could help scientists understand the geological processes taking place on Mars at a local scale.
THE MARS ORBITER MISSION
- The ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission (Mom), India’s first spacecraft launched to Mars, arrived 23 September 2014 to study the Martian surface and atmosphere and demonstrate technologies needed for interplanetary missions.
- One of the working group’s objectives will be to explore potential coordinated observations and science analysis between Nasa’s Maven spacecraft and Mom, as well as other current and future Mars missions.
- The team are also searching for methane on the surface, which could indicate signs of life on the planet.
This week also marked the return of results from the Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM) payload on the spacecraft, which will detect the presence of methane in the atmosphere.
It measured the reflectivity of the Martian surface, to work out how much of the sun’s radiation is reflected back into space by the planet.
Officials said they will not release the data until it has been peer-reviewed, though, reported Sen. But it is the hunt for methane that is of particular importance, as it could indicate whether there is life on Mars or not.
Dr Syed Maqbool Ahmed, a former scientist on India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission said on his blog that the use of the MSM was important as it proved the instrument worked.
‘This is like scaling Mt. Everest for an instrument specialist like me,’ he said.
Source: Daily Mail
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He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names –Psalm 147:4 (KJV).
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse – Romans 1:20 (KJV).
Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end – Psalm 102:25-27 (KJV).
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth – Psalm 33:6 (KJV).
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end – Ecclesiastes 3:11 (KJV).
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear – Hebrews 11:3 (KJV).
Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? – 1 Corinthians 1:20 (KJV).
Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:– Amos 5:8 (KJV).
Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth – Isaiah 40:26 (KJV).
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork -Psalm 19:1 (KJV).
Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars. Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea. Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south. Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number – Job 9:9-10 (KJV).
…”Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, Or loose the cords of Orion?” Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, And guide the Bear with her satellites? “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, Or fix their rule over the earth?…- Job 38:31-33
There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. –1 Corinthians 15:41 (KJV).