A few days ago, the "Tianwen No. 1" orbiter passed over the inspection area of ​​the Mars rover again, and took a 0.5-meter resolution image of the "Zhurong" inspection area.

  As of March 24, 2022, the "Zhurong" rover has been working on the surface of Mars for 306 Martian days and has traveled 1,784 meters in total. The "Tianwen-1" orbiter has been in orbit for 609 days and is 277 million kilometers away from the earth. Both are operating normally.

△High-resolution camera captures images of the inspection area of ​​"Zhurong"

Navigation terrain camera shot at different times

Mars rover body image comparison

  The "Zhurong" rover also sent back selfies from the surface of Mars. Compared with the photos taken just after landing, it can be seen that a thin layer of dust has accumulated on the surface of the rover.

At the same time, according to the telemetry information of the rover, the power generation efficiency of the solar wing is affected to a certain extent, but the energy is still sufficient.

In order to cope with the dust coverage, the solar wing of the Mars rover has been specially designed, and various measures can be taken to deal with the problem of the reduction of power generation efficiency caused by the sand and dust.

Taken on May 19, 2021 (the 5th Martian day after landing), the surface of the rover is not covered by sand and dust

Taken on January 22, 2022 (the 247th Martian day after landing), there is obvious dust coverage on the surface of the rover

Moderate resolution camera captures high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere

Comparison of sandstorm activities

  The Martian dust storm will directly affect the energy acquisition of the Mars rover, which has always attracted much attention.

The engineering team continued to monitor the Martian sand and dust weather through the images obtained by the medium-resolution camera of the "Tianwen-1" orbiter, and found that from late January this year, the area north of 60° north latitude on Mars began to have obvious sandstorms.

It can be seen from the figure below that a local sandstorm occurred in this area in February this year, and typical features were covered by a large amount of sand and dust, making it difficult to distinguish.

△ Taken at the center of the image on January 22, 2022 (30.7° east longitude, 74.0° north latitude)

△ Taken at the center of the image on February 10, 2022 (37.8° east longitude, 72.9° north latitude), a local sandstorm occurred, and the ground objects were difficult to distinguish

Medium-resolution images of the "Zhurong" landing inspection area

  At present, the northern hemisphere of Mars has begun to enter autumn.

According to the analysis of previous detection data, autumn is the season of frequent occurrence of dusty weather on Mars, but no obvious dusty weather has been observed in the inspection area of ​​"Zhurong".

△ Taken on March 24, 2021, the center of the image (110.2° east longitude, 24.6° north latitude)

△ Taken on January 30, 2022, the center of the image (107.4° east longitude, 24.4° north latitude)

Filmed by "Tianwen No. 1"

US Mars rover "Perseverance"

  The "Tianwen-1" orbiter continues to carry out global remote sensing exploration of Mars, and focuses on typical landforms and geological units such as craters, volcanoes, canyons, and dry riverbeds to obtain high-resolution images.

On March 7 this year, the American "Perseverance" rover was photographed while imaging the "Jezero" crater, which is currently located about 200 meters southeast of its landing site.

△The American "Perseverance" rover photographed by "Tianwen-1"