Late-afternoon lighting produced a dramatic shadow of NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity photographed by the rover’s rear hazard-avoidance camera on March 20.
The rover experienced a partial cleaning of dust from its solar panels by Martian wind the week of March 27, boosting electrical output from the array by about 10 percent, following a similar event the week before. That is in addition to increased sunshine each day in the Martian southern hemisphere’s early spring. Combined, the seasonal effect and dust-cleaning events have increased the amount of energy available each day from the rover’s solar array by more than 70 percent compared with two months ago, to more than 615 watt-hours. Opportunity has more power to explore with as it begins its second decade on Mars.