Phoenix Welcomes in Sol 90 and Mars Winter

Phoenix sees the Sun dip below the horizon for the first time in 90 sols. It's going to get pretty cold here on in... (NASA/JPL/UA)

Phoenix sees the Sun dip below the horizon for the first time in 90 sols. It's going to get pretty cold out there... (NASA/JPL/UA)

This stunning image was taken by Phoenix on the 90th sol (Mars day) – or August 25th here on Earth – of its mission to the Red Planet. Until now the Sun has remained in the sky continuously due to the Mars Arctic summer, perfect for the landers solar panels to receive 24-hour solar energy. Sol 90 marks colder days and less sunlight for Phoenix as we push into Mars winter…

As Nancy reported on the Universe Today about a recent Twitter posting by the Phoenix Mars lander that its cameras had caught a partial sunset at midnight. The sunset and Mars “night” only lasted 75 minutes, but this marks the beginning of the frigid Mars winter. Previously, Phoenix had captured the full glory of a Martian 24 hour Sun-drenched day, showing the Sun perform a slow parabolic swoop toward the planet’s horizon, flirting with sunset. However, on Sol 90 of the mission, the Sun has succumbed to the onset of Mars winter.

Phoenix is set to continue operations through to September 30th, so although beautiful, this sunset marks a sad beginning to the final month of the Phoenix mission…

Source: Universe Today

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