Over the course of 12 years, the HiRISE camera has been photographing the Red Planet inch-by-inch from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Around 50,000 still images have been taken and anyone can check out hi-res stereo versions online. A Finnish filmmaker has spent three months converting the photos into a short video…
If someone told us that these stunning new photos had been taken on Earth, we wouldn’t have blinked an eye. But they weren’t. Instead, every one of these photographs comes from a planet millions of miles away from us.
NASA has spotted something strange and beautiful in the sands of Mars—a remarkable dune field that looks eerily similar to Morse code. And it has a message for us.
A remarkable new image captured by a satellite in orbit around Mars shows the Curiosity rover as it explores the barren landscape.
How can you tell if a crater is recent? The rim is sharp and the material ejected from its formation is well-preserved. Since it’s relatively recent — in geological time — this crater could have a “steep, active slope,” so NASA will monitor it for changes.
This crater on Mars is so fresh, it still has sharp, clean edges unsoftened by countless landslides.
When Curiosity came burning through Mars' atmosphere two-and-a-half years ago, it marked the planet with its landing, and the impact of shedding its sky crane, heat shield, backshell, and parachute. But the planet is recovering, obscuring the scars with unending wind and dust.
Mars is covered in craters. Most of them are very old. The one you see here is, at most, two years and four months young – certified fresh, in cosmic terms.
It's raining dunes! Well, no, not really, but these olivine-rich sand dunes on Mars really do look like classic cartoon drawings of raindrops sliding across the landscape.
Just expand this image a little bit and you'll see amazing detail — that's frost forming on ripples of sand, its distinctive wrinkly appearance created by wind whipping along this slope on the inside of a Martian crater.
The science performed by HiRISE, the telescopic camera on the Mars Reconnoissance Orbiter, is so important the research team recruited members of the Imperial Guard to stand sentry over their processing computers. Here's a sample of incredible images produced by this well-protected instrument:
Mars isn't just an endless stretch of dull red dirt — different parts of the planet's surface are geomorphologically distinct, with some parts boasting dunes, craters, or flood channels, while others feature evidence of avalanches, dust devil trails, and stratified terrain.
Picking a good landing site is key for a rover mission. Here's a look at all the locations that were under consideration when deciding where to drop the Curiosity rover on Mars two years ago, set to oddly dated soundtrack.
The Juventae Chasma on Mars contains dunes of all sizes, from the smallest ripples through the largest draa towering hundreds of meters tall.
We have such a vigilant orbital watch program that when a meteor a few meters in diameter pinged Mars, we spotted the crater within 24 hours. We're living in the future, people. Unless this is the past, because NASA announced the discovery in Latin.
With a gentle rainbow of topographical changes, and the scalloped detail of active dunes, this digital terrain model is pure indulgence for the eyes. It's also part of an ongoing study on using aeolian processes to investigate sedimentation and atmospheric science on Mars.
These dunes are a fleet of Star Fleet communicator badges (combadge), flying in formation across the Martian surface. The geomorphology of why this happens has nothing to do with Star Trek or transporter beams, and everything to do with aerodynamics.
The walls on the sides of Zumba Crater on Mars are so steep, it looks like an eyeball staring back at you from the digital terrain model. The ejecta forms a hill of red and brown around the perfectly circular blue crater floor.
This impact crater on Mars is decked out in rainbow colours reflecting the topography of the area. The dark blues and purple of the crater floor rapidly digs through the high-elevation red, yellow, and green of the surrounding plains.