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Mars's Marathon Valley Sure Is Pretty

Illustration for article titled Marss Marathon Valley Sure Is Pretty

When NASA's Opportunity rover paused to take in its surroundings earlier this month, it had quite a views. This is what it saw from the edge of the Endeavour Crater, a part of the planet that's been dubbed Marathon Valley.


The name's no coincidence: it happens to be where the little rover clocked up 26.21 miles of Mars trundling. But the valley does hold more allure than being a mile marker, because observations in this area are yielding samples of clay minerals that hint at ancient wet environments on the planet. Oh, and then there are the views. [NASA]

Image by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.

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One should always remember that if we spent just a tinny fraction of our war budget on space exploration, this camera would be handheld.

Most likely, the person holding the camera would be a scientist and not a fighter pilot.