PIA11198: Declining Sunshine for Phoenix Lander
 Mission:  Phoenix
 Spacecraft:  Phoenix Mars Lander
 Product Size:  720 x 540 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  University of Arizona
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA11198.tif (1.168 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA11198.jpg (32.05 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

The yellow line on this graphic indicates the number of hours of sunlight each sol, or Martian day, at the Phoenix landing site's far-northern latitude, beginning with the entire Martian day (about 24 hours and 40 minutes) for the first 90 sols, then declining to no sunlight by about sol 300. The blue tick mark indicates that on Sol 124 (Sept. 29, 2008), the sun is above the horizon for about 20 hours.

The brown vertical bar represents the period from Nov. 18 to Dec. 24, 2008, around the "solar conjunction," when the sun is close to the line between Mars and Earth, affecting communications.

The green vertical rectangle represents the period from February to November 2009 when the Phoenix lander is expected to be encased in carbon-dioxide ice.

Photojournal Note: As planned, the Phoenix lander, which landed May 25, 2008 23:53 UTC, ended communications in November 2008, about six months after landing, when its solar panels ceased operating in the dark Martian winter.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin

Image Addition Date: