These are two separate, side-by-side animations made from the same nine images the Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander took looking into the sky after 5:17 p.m. local time on Sol 8 (June 2, 2008), the eighth Martian day of the mission. The SSI was pointed almost straight up, toward the southwest. Zenith is near the top of the center frame.
In the left animation, the images were stretched to enhance contrast. The right animation highlights variations between each image and the next. The variations are likely dust blown by winds passing through the SSI's field of view. The images suggest the dust is blowing from west to east.
The Phoenix Mission is led by the University of Arizona, Tucson, on behalf of NASA. Project management of the mission is by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. Spacecraft development is by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver.
Photojournal Note: As planned, the Phoenix lander, which landed May 25, 2008 23:53 UTC, ended communications in November 2008, about six months after landing, when its solar panels ceased operating in the dark Martian winter.