This series of images show Phoenix’s telltale instrument waving in the Martian wind. Documenting the telltale’s movement helps mission scientists and engineers determine what the wind is like on Mars.
On the day these images were taken, one of the images seemed to be “out-of-phase” with other images, possibly indicating a dust devil occurrence. Preliminary analysis of the images taken right before and after the passing of this possible dust devil indicates winds from the west at 7 meters per second. The image taken during the possible dust devil shows 11 meters per second wind from the south.
These images were taken by the lander’s Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) on the 136th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Oct. 12, 2008). Phoenix’s telltale is part of the Canadian Space Agency’s meteorological package on the lander. The telltale was built by the University of Aarhus, Denmark.
The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University