NASA's Mars Phoenix lander has unfurled its solar panels and transmitted its first images of the planet's northern plains back to Earth, revealing a remarkably flat and strangely patterned landscape.
Throughout the images, there is ample evidence of the "polygons" that orbital images hinted should be present at the landing site.
The polygons are defined by trough-like boundaries, likely created by the repeated expansion and contraction of subsurface ice. As seen through Phoenix's eyes, the polygons give the landing site a quilt-like appearance, characterised by low bumps and shallow dips.
Lees meer op New Scientist en SpaceRef
Meer fotos op Nasa website en Arizona University website
The phoenix has landed
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