Astro Image in the News:
Spying on the Neighbors

Mars Express
On April 20, 2005, astronomers used Mars Orbiter Camera to take pictures of Mars Express. The two orbiters were about 250 kilometers (155 miles) apart when MGS shot the picture.
Courtesy NASA/JPL/MSSS.
Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), the oldest working spacecraft orbiting the red planet, is taking some time to check out the newest kids in the neighborhood. On April 20th, astronomers used the veteran's Mars Orbiter Camera to take pictures of another spacecraft: Mars Express. The two orbiters were about 250 kilometers (155 miles) apart when MGS shot the picture. Three images were combined to provided this view of the 15-meter-wide European craft. In the middle are the orbiter's cameras and what is most likely a reflection from the craft's high-gain antenna. The wings are reflections from the solar panels.

Mars Odyssey
The image of Mars Odyssey was captured by MGS from about 90 kilometers away. The 6 meter-long boom holding the craft's Gamma Ray Spectrometer is quite clear, as is Mars Odyssey's high-gain antenna, seen as the top bright spot on the left side.
Courtesy NASA/JPL/MSSS.
The next day MGS continued its snooping game by capturing high-resolution images of another spacecraft: NASA's Mars Odyssey. The image was captured from about 90 kilometers away. The 6-meter-long boom holding the craft's Gamma Ray Spectrometer is quite visible, as is Mars Odyssey's high-gain antenna, seen as the top bright spot on the right side.

These are the first-ever pictures of a Martian orbiter taken from another Martian orbiter.