New Exhibit Showcases Latest Mars Images

Visitors to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C., expect to see historic pieces from humankind’s quest to conquer the sky and the dark realm beyond. But a new exhibit brings visitors to the forefront of space exploration as it is happening now. The exhibit, which is on display indefinitely, features the latest images from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) aboard NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft, which is now orbiting Mars. Controlled by a team at Arizona State University (ASU), THEMIS records daytime and nighttime images of the martian surface at visible and infrared wavelengths. This information provides insight about temperature changes on the surface, as well as the planet’s mineralogy and topography.