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Context Camera View in Phoenix Landing Region in Martian Arctic
wide view of area showing where Phoenix will land and dust devils The Context Camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took this image of Martian northern plains, including ground within the targeted landing area for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander.

The image was taken on April 20, 2008, five weeks before the May 25 Phoenix landing. The landing area is near 68 degrees north latitude, 127 degrees west longitude. The view includes two dust devils, labeled for easier viewing in an enlarged cut-out at PIA10633. The full-frame, reduced-scale view here covers an area 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) wide and 314 kilometers (195 miles) long. It shows various wind streaks formed by wind gusts prior to the day that the dust devils were observed.

When the Context Camera acquired this image, the season in Mars' northern hemisphere was late spring. A few weeks earlier, the Phoenix landing site was still covered with seasonal frost left over from the previous winter.

Another camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Mars Color Imager, captured a simultaneous, wider-field, color view of the area included in this Context Camera image. That view can be seen at PIA10634.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, provided and operates the Context Camera and Mars Color Imager.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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