It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Jim Phillips says: March 21, 2012 at 3:48 pm Processing Mars images from last night. The feature you have captured is definitely real! It is present on my initial images especially in the blue channel. Jim
NASA has approved a fourth two year extended mission, through August 2012, to allow for the observation of year-to-year differences in phenomena like polar ice, clouds, and dust storms, as well as a much more sensitive mapping of martian minerals. A fifth extended mission (to July 2014) would be likely if Curiosity lands successfully in late 2012. The orbiter contains enough propellant to operate at least until 2015. In 2010, a spokesman for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory stated that Odyssey could continue operating until at least about 2016 and "perhaps even well beyond".
"In the command upload we're preparing to send today, we've included observations that will hopefully capture some of these recent clouds," Hill wrote in an email. "Our THEMIS camera on Mars Odyssey is capable of acquiring simultaneous visible and thermal infrared images, so our atmospheric researchers are pretty excited about the possibility of not only getting a good look at the cloud structures, but also their temperatures. THEMIS will be checking out heightened cloud activity around Mars' shield volcanoes as well as around the southern site spotted by the amateurs. Pictures from a camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, called the Mars Color Imager, or MARCI, might provide further clues about the southern cloud feature. And amateur astronomers are sending out the alert for observers to keep a close watch on the Red Planet over the coming days.