The Best HiRISE Image of the InSight Lander
The Best HiRISE Image of the InSight Lander
ESP_061684_1845  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
HiRISE has been monitoring the InSight landing site for changes such as new dust-devil tracks, but the lander itself may appear different in each image.

This new image is our best view yet of the lander, clearly showing the two circular solar panels on either side of the lander body, and the bright spot which is the cover over the seismometer. Why is this lander image clearer than past images?

There are multiple contributors that improve the contrast. First, the air is clearer of dust this time of year. Second, this is an oblique view looking west, so the shadows are offset from the lander. Third, the illumination and viewing directions do not lead to any bright mirror-like reflections from the lander or solar panels, which can obscure surrounding pixels.

The seismometer cover to the south of the lander is still bright because its hemispherical shape always produces a mirror-like reflection over some small area.

Written by: Alfred McEwen  (16 October 2019)

Acquisition date
23 September 2019

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
272.0 km (169.1 miles)

Original image scale range
29.6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~89 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
48°, with the Sun about 42° above the horizon

Solar longitude
83.8°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  38.5°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (464MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (324MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (212MB)
non-map           (214MB)

IRB color
map projected  (87MB)
non-map           (248MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (124MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (137MB)

RGB color
non map           (239MB)
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible:

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.