Tag Archives: ESA

Trace Gas Orbiter: Crossing Phobos’ orbit while aerobraking

[Editor’s note: See update.] Here are the facts about the Phobos orbit crossing today [November 16]. The orbit crossing is not a Phobos flyby. In fact, we did our best to ensure that Phobos would be at the farthest possible … Continue reading

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HRSC: Fracture swarms on Mars

These striking features on Mars were caused by the planet’s crust stretching apart in response to ancient volcanic activity. The fractures in the Sirenum Fossae region in the southern hemisphere were imaged by ESA’s Mars Express in March. They extend … Continue reading

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ExoMars aerobraking becomes too severe; shifts automatically to higher orbit

ExoMars has successfully performed a Flux Reduction Manoeuvre (FRM) for the first time. The manoeuvre was triggered by the excessive density of Mars’ atmosphere, which had slowed the spacecraft above the limit the operations team normally allows. The manoeuvre happened … Continue reading

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Mars Express webcam surveys high-altitude clouds

An unprecedented catalogue of more than 21,000 images taken by a webcam on ESA’s Mars Express is proving its worth as a science instrument, providing a global survey of unusual high-altitude cloud features on the Red Planet. The low-resolution camera … Continue reading

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Trace Gas Orbiter: Clouds over lava flows

Diffuse, water-ice clouds, a hazy sky and a light breeze. Such might have read a weather forecast for the Tharsis volcanic region on Mars on 22 November 2016, when this image was taken by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. Clouds, … Continue reading

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HRSC: Colorful dunes on wind-swept Mars

Dunes are prominent indicators of prevailing winds, as can be seen on this crater floor on Mars, imaged by ESA’s Mars Express on 16 May. Depressions such as impact craters can act as traps for sediments that have been blown … Continue reading

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Mars Express: Visual Monitoring Camera goes pro

In the past fortnight, the VMC camera on Mars Express has delivered some of the best images ever, showing the Martian surface in excellent detail, colour and contrast. If you’re a VMCer (and, if you’re reading this, you are!) and … Continue reading

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Mars Express: Rover craters

In the week of 18 September 2017, the low-resolution webcam on ESA’s Mars Express captured some impressive images from between 3000 km to 5000 km altitude. The image series is being used to calibrate the camera now that it has … Continue reading

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HRSC: Crashing into martian mud

An impactor smashing into an ice-rich surface gave rise to the complex flow features around this ancient crater on Mars. Impacts of comets and asteroids have shaped the surfaces of rocky planets and moons over the Solar System’s 4.6 billion … Continue reading

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iMars & PSUP: New tools to explore Mars data

In past decades, spacecraft have sent back huge amounts of complex data about Mars, providing a wealth of information about the planet. More than ever, the scientific community needs a way to sift through, compare, and analyse these data, prompting … Continue reading

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