Apr 012012

Here are the more interesting color images from 20 March 2012 showing the condensate cloud rotating into view.  The animation has a loss of resolution due to compression, but is still quite interesting.  I captured the cloud in nine images during this session.  Those interested in scientific study of the phenomena should contact me directly for access to the raw spectral data (including near-IR images.)  Now that I’ve had a bit more time, I reprocessed all the images according to my usual workflow.  Many of the initially published images were processed quickly to handle the many request for data.

Aside from the condensate cloud (arrowed), the 9-frame animation shows the thinning of the morning haze of Elysium over the hour during which the images were captured.  In the center of the image, Olympus Mons’ peak shows through an orographic cloud formed on the leeward side of the great volcano.  The Tharsis volcanoes show orographic clouds as well.  In the north polar cap (north is down in the animation, but up in the individual images — south-up is the standard manner of presenting astronomical images), the rift “Rima Borealis” cuts across the now-tiny polar cap at the approach of Martian Summer and the summer projections are seen.  A small dust event appears to be rotating into view as well.

Here is an animation of the data captured in near infra-red (IR) light at a wavelength greater than 742nm.  Note that the condensate cloud is barely perceptible until the last frames.

And here are some of the individual images:



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