Traveling through time and space & Doing timey wimy stuff.

On the months of March 2022  the week of 20th March 2022   天问一号飞運騎遊達达3亿CNSA – China National Space Administration – ESA – European Space agency Belt and road initiative mars mission…first Mars exploration mission, Tianwen- Martian Probe One  sent back stunning images of the Half Earth Mass size of the Rustic Planet Mars in which show stunning Martian landscape with its iconic polar caps of either southern or northern .. With its timeless Stunning Mars Photography. Tianwen-1″ returned high-resolution images of the Mars inspection area

Figure 1 The image of the inspection area of ​​”Zhurong” taken by a high-resolution camera

 A few days ago, the “Tianwen No. 1” orbiter passed over the inspection area of ​​the Mars rover again, and took a 0.5-meter resolution image of the “Zhurong” inspection area. As of March 24, 2022, the “Zhurong” rover has been working on the surface of Mars for 306 Martian days and has traveled 1,784 meters in total. The “Tianwen-1” orbiter has been in orbit for 609 days and is 277 million kilometers away from the earth. Both are operating normally.

(a) Taken on May 19 , 
2021 ( the 

 Martian day after landing ), the surface of the rover is not covered by sand and dust
(b) Taken on 
22 , 
2022 (the 247th

 Martian day 

after landing ), there is obvious dust coverage on the surface of the 
Figure 2 Comparison of images of the rover taken by the Navigation Terrain Camera in different periods

The “Zhurong” rover also sent back selfies from the surface of Mars. Compared with the photos taken just after landing, it can be seen that a thin layer of dust has accumulated on the surface of the rover. At the same time, according to the telemetry information of the rover, the power generation efficiency of the solar wing is affected to a certain extent, but the energy is still sufficient. In order to cope with the dust coverage, the solar wing of the Mars rover has been specially designed, and various measures can be taken to deal with the problem of the reduction of power generation efficiency caused by the sand and dust.

Taken at the 
center of the 

 image on January 22 , 2022 ( 30.7 °E, 74.0 ° N )
Taken at the center of the image on February 10 , 2022 ( 37.8 ° east longitude , 7 2.9 ° north latitude), a local sandstorm occurred, and the ground objects were difficult to distinguish

Fig. 3 Comparison of wind and sand activities in high latitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere captured by medium-resolution cameras

The Martian dust storm will directly affect the energy acquisition of the Mars rover, which has always attracted much attention. The engineering team continued to monitor the Martian sand and dust weather through images obtained by the medium-resolution camera of the “Tianwen-1” orbiter, and found that from late January this year, obvious wind and sand activities began to appear in the area north of 60 ° N latitude on Mars. It can be seen from the figure below that a local sandstorm occurred in this area in February this year, and typical features were covered by a large amount of sand and dust, making it difficult to distinguish.

At present, the northern hemisphere of Mars has begun to enter autumn. According to the analysis of previous detection data, autumn is the season of frequent occurrence of dusty weather on Mars, but no obvious dusty weather has been observed in the inspection area of ​​”Zhurong”.

(a) Taken on March 24 , 2021 , at the center of the image ( 110.2 ° E, 24.6 °N)
(b) Taken on January 30 , 2022 , at the center of the image ( 107.4 ° E longitude , 24.4 ° N latitude )
Figure 4. Medium resolution image of “Zhurong” landing inspection area

The “Tianwen-1” orbiter continues to carry out global remote sensing exploration of Mars, and focuses on typical landforms and geological units such as craters, volcanoes, canyons, and dry riverbeds, and obtains high-resolution images. On March 7 this year, the American “Perseverance” rover was photographed while imaging the “Jezero” crater, which is currently located about 200 meters southeast of its landing site.

Figure 5 The American “Perseverance” rover photographed by “Tianwen-1”

Source Cartography: National Astronomical Observatory -Author: Geng Yan Chen Gang

Images and visuals are from CNSA- China National Space Administration also from there respectives- CLEP –China Lunar Exploration Project..

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