Found: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Locates Beagle 2 Lander

January 16, 2015
  • english

Tim Parker: The movie you're watching here is a sequence of 3 HiRISE images that were taken of an object that might be the Beagle 2 lander in the Isidis Planitia. It was seen first as a series of bright spots. These bright spots are not uncommon in spacecraft images as cosmic rays strike the CCD. It's in 2 of the HiRISE images. So we know they're on the ground. They're not artifacts of a cosmic ray strike on the CCD. The third image was taken recently. And I've taken the color channel from that third image and I've used it to colorize the first two. The object itself seems to have different points on it that are catching glints from one image to another. From this, we are interpreting that we may actually be looking at the Beagle 2 lander. And that it's actually in some deployed condition. Whether all the panels have been opened up or not is yet to be determined by the Beagle team.