Mars is just one night away from opposition and has grown to 13.9 arc seconds in size. The largest known volcano in our solar system, Olympus Mons, is in the center of the planet. It has been covered with a cloud since I imaged it five nights ago. At nearly 22 kilometers high, the volcano is 2.5 times higher than Mt. Everest. Its height is likely a major factor in attracting and condensing the orographic cloud.
The relatively featureless Tharsis region to the right of Olympus Mons is covered with even thicker clouds. I do not recall ever having seen greater cloud cover on Mars as is presently available.
Date Imaged :
March 2, 2012 15:01UT
Stardust Observatory, Baguio