He looked at the heat signature of Phobos captured in 1998 by an instrument he describes as a fancy thermometer carried on the Mars Global Surveyor
. The robotic spacecraft spent most of its lifetime looking down at Mars, but took a quick look at Phobos when it passed near the moon before settling into a closer orbit around the planet.
Mars Global Surveyor
: Highest-resolution view of "Face on Mars." Retrieved from www.msss.com/mars_imaqes/moc/extended_may2001/face/
By studying data from two spacecraft, NASA's Mars Odyssey and the Mars Global Surveyor
, a team of planetary scientists was able to look below the surface of a recent lava flow on the Martian surface.
The programmer typed in orders for the Mars Global Surveyor
to recharge its batteries but instead sent it spinning into the darkness of space.
"In 2005 data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor
and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide 'ice caps' near Mars's south pole had been diminishing for three summers in a row."
The HiRISE camera is designed to image the surface at up to five times the resolution currently provided by the Mars Global Surveyor
, identifying images as small as a coffee table.
1996: Nasa's Mars Global Surveyor
provides glimpses of water beneath the surface, while Russia's Mars 96 falls into the sea.
Its lead scientist Colin Pillinger claims to have found evidence of the missing probe after studying specially processed pictures from a camera on the US space agency's (Nasa) Mars Global Surveyor
GOOD news: The scientist behind Britain's failed Beagle2mission to Mars believes the missing space probe may have been found.New pictures from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor
spacecraft seem to have identified the crater in which it rests.
Professor Pillinger and his team are confident the mystery has been solved with the pictures from Nasa's Mars Global Surveyor
Last week photographs from Nasa's spacecraft Mars Global Surveyor
showed that deposits of frozen carbon dioxide near the planet's south pole have shrunk for three summers in a row.