Mars with a difference: This image shows our neighboring world on April 8, 2023, taken by NASA’s Curiosity spacecraft (bottom right). Two images are combined: one from 9:20 a.m. local time in the morning, in blue, and one from 3:40 in the afternoon, in yellow. The shadows are like stage lighting coming from the left and right. Curiosity’s tracks can be seen in the center of the image. Beyond lies Marker Band Valley – a winding valley where unexpected evidence of a former lake has been discovered. Curiosity climbs the slopes of 5-kilometre-high Mount Sharp in Gale Crater. The crater rim in the background is about 40 km away.
This 150-metre-sized Martian crater is new: it was formed on December 24, 2021 as a result of a meteorite impact in the Amazones Planitia region. Around the rim of the crater are clumps of water ice jutting out of the ground the size of a car or caravan. Image taken from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
© NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
View of Belva Crater: The image was compiled from 152 images taken by the Perseverance rover on April 22, 2023 from the western rim, from a site called Echo Creek. The crater is about 900 meters in size.
Ancient river delta: Details from the most detailed panoramic image ever of another celestial body. It consisted of over 1,100 individual images as of June 2022 and originally contained 2.5 billion image points (pixels). Sedimentary rocks in Jezero Crater, where NASA’s Perseverance rover landed in February 2021, show that there was plenty of liquid water on Mars billions of years ago.
Fans and Polygons: At high latitudes, water and dry ice mark the surface of Mars. Water ice in the Earth divides it into polygons. In the spring, dry ice rises, eroding the polygon’s boundaries and causing numerous fluctuations. The escaping gas takes with it fine material particles from the surface. The particles recede and form a dark, fan-shaped deposit. Wherever they sink into the dry ice, they leave behind bright trails. If the floor is opened again later, new cubicles will be created in the same place. They can point in different directions if the wind changes.
The surface of Mars is full of terrain resembling glaciers. While glacial deposits are largely confined to the polar ice caps, elsewhere patterns of slow, viscous flows with rocky debris are found in the floors of craters and valleys. Such patterns are also known from Earth: on the surfaces of glaciers and rocky glaciers covered with debris. As the ice flows down the hill, it carries with it rocks and soil from the surrounding landscape. This process takes thousands of years. In warmer conditions, ice is lost through melting or sublimation. Rocks and minerals concentrated in the long ridge remain behind. Image taken from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
© NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
The southern hemisphere of Mars in July 2022, when it was summer there: On the left is the massive Argyri Basin, one of the deepest craters. It is full of atmospheric fog. Deep canyons called Valles Marineris are at the top left (here filled with light brown clouds). Below you can see the Antarctic cap (white), which shrinks in summer. The image in the ultraviolet range with wavelengths between 110 and 340 nanometers comes from MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution). This NASA probe was launched in November 2013, and entered Mars orbit in September 2014.
© NASA/LASP/CU Boulder
The 1,000-km-long ice sheet in the Arctic: The image consists of 57 individual images taken by the European Mars Express spacecraft from an altitude of 300 to 500 km.
©ESA/DLR/FU Berlin–G. Newcom. Image processing by F. Janssen (ESA)
Like chocolate, caramel and cream candy: Mars’ South Pole region has an ice cap up to three kilometers thick made of frozen water and carbon dioxide. The image was taken on December 17, 2012 by the European Space Agency’s Mars Express probe, which has been exploring the Red Planet since 2003.
©ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/Bill Dunford
The Ingenuity small Mars helicopter during its 54th flight on August 3, 2023: Image taken by the Perseverance rover from a distance of 55 metres.
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