As the Mars Exploration Rover 'Opportunity' descended towards Meridiani
Planum on Jan 24, 2004 its parachute cast a shadow on the arid Martian
The large image (PIA05146) was taken from an altitude of only 1400m
and shows an area about 1.2km (3/4 mile) across.
The parachute shadow is the dark circle to the left of the bright
rimmed crater at far right. The moving shadow is marked in two of
the inset pictures.
Surrounding the shadow is a bright area - an opposition effect caused
by shadow hiding by Martian soil grains and backscattering effects.
This image is possibly the first showing an "Atmospheric Optics"
effect on another planet. It was spotted by Hugo Landheer (site)
of the Netherlands.