MRO images Schiaparelli on Mars

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before and after Schiaparelli

A comparison of images taken by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter before and after Schiaparelli’s failed attempt to land on Mars have revealed changes that are likely the lander on the surface. The image on the right is a composite that I’ve made showing the two images. The black spot near the top and the white spot near the bottom are not in the first image.

It is thought that the white spot is likely Schiaparelli’s parachute, while the dark spot is thought to be the lander’s impact point.

The larger dark spot near the upper edge of the enlargement was likely formed by the Schiaparelli lander. The spot is elliptical, about 50 by 130 feet (15 by 40 meters) in size, and is probably too large to have been made by the impact of the heat shield.

The large size of the dark spot suggests that the lander hit the ground hard enough to create this large scar.



  • Matt in AZ

    It looks like there’s a faint oblong ring surrounding the impact location. It’s more noticeable in the zoomed-out part of the animated gif at the the JPL link you posted. However, it could easily be noise or an enhancement artifact, rather than real.

  • eddie willers


  • Localfluff

    At least it made a mark that will last a million years.

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