Weather Forecast for Phoenix: Clear Skies
Scientists are anticipating clear skies when NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander arrives on the north polar plains of the Red Planet Sunday, May 25, 2008.
This animated orbital view shows recent weather conditions from May 16 to May 22, 2008, as tracked by the Mars Color Imager on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. A cloud of dust kicked up by Martian winds traveled from west to east between May 19 and May 22, 2008, passing over Phoenix's landing site. The dust cloud was about 500 kilometers (300 miles) from head to tail and made the skies somewhat hazy. Since then, the dust has been replaced by clear skies, indicating that Phoenix will not land in any dust clouds, which are a common occurrence in the northern latitudes of Mars.
The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/MSSS