Dusty Days: India Mission Photographs Stormy Mars Globe
India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has released its first beautiful global view of the Red Planet.
As soon as India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) entered orbit around the Red Planet last week, it started snapping the Martian surface and atmosphere, showing the world that we have yet another ace robotic photographer orbiting the planet. Today, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has released the mission's first global view of Mars - and in doing so, MOM has done a little Mars weather forecasting: there's a dust storm brewing.
Imaged at a distance of 74,500 kilometers (46,300 miles) on Sunday (Sept. 28), many of Mars' familiar features are easy to see. Interestingly, the plain, Meridiani Planum, is dead-center of the shot - the location where Mars rover Opportunity landed in 2004 and continues to explore to this day.
Also, near the top of the image, the greyish clouds are a sign of a dust storm brewing in the northern hemisphere. "Something's brewing here!" the @MarsOrbiter official Twitter account tweeted on Monday.
As MOM's orbit is highly elliptical, reaching from 262 miles (periareon - closest approach) to 47,841 miles (apoareon - farthest extent), we can expect a lot more global views from Mars' newest satellite, providing us with a beautiful global perspective of a planet that currently has seven robotic missions (from three different space agencies) exploring it.