HiRISE: Dunes, slopes, and dust devil tracks

tumblr_or3ncalM0v1rlz4gso1_1280Dunes and slopes. Beautiful Mars series.

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THEMIS: Southern ice cap edge & Argentea Planum

Ice cap and Argentea Planum (THEMIS_IOTD_20170725)THEMIS Image of the Day, July 25, 2017. Today’s false color image shows the edge of the polar cap and Argentea Planum.

The THEMIS camera contains 5 filters. The data from different filters can be combined in multiple ways to create a false color image. These false color images may reveal subtle variations of the surface not easily identified in a single band image.

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

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HiRISE: Dipping layers in Promethei Terra

tumblr_or3n1zJ1tU1rlz4gso1_1280Dipping layers in Promethei Terra. (Not dipping dots.) Beautiful Mars series.

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THEMIS: Newton Crater in false color

Newton Crater in false color (THEMIS_IOTD_20170724)THEMIS Image of the Day, July 24, 2017. Today’s false color image shows part of Newton Crater in Terra Sirenum.

The THEMIS camera contains 5 filters. The data from different filters can be combined in multiple ways to create a false color image. These false color images may reveal subtle variations of the surface not easily identified in a single band image.

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

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HiRISE: Crater ejecta along Durius Valles

tumblr_oqxyjja8gC1rlz4gso2_1280Crater ejecta along Durius Valles. Beautiful Mars series.

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THEMIS: Dust avalanches in Terra Sabaea

Dark slope streaks in Terra Sabaea (THEMIS_IOTD_20170721)THEMIS Image of the Day, July 21, 2017. This VIS image shows several dark slope streaks on the inner rim of an unnamed crater in Terra Sabaea. These features are thought to be formed by dust avalanches — downslope movement of material that removes some of the surface dust, revealing the darker rock beneath. The channel to the north of the crater is Indus Vallis, and a generally radial pattern is visible in the hills just outside the crater rim. This is likely partly buried ejecta from the crater-impact explosion.

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

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Hubble Space Telescope images Phobos

While photographing Mars, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured a cameo appearance of the tiny moon Phobos on its trek around the Red Planet. Discovered in 1877, the diminutive, potato-shaped moon is so small that it appears star-like in the Hubble pictures. Phobos orbits Mars in just 7 hours and 39 minutes, which is faster than Mars rotates. The moon’s orbit is very slowly shrinking, meaning it will eventually shatter under Mars’ gravitational pull, or crash into the planet. Hubble took 13 separate exposures over 22 minutes to create a time-lapse video showing the moon’s orbital path. [More at link]

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Opportunity: Perseverance Valley panorama

IDL TIFF fileNASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity recorded a panoramic view before entering the upper end of a fluid-carved valley that descends the inner slope of a large crater’s rim.

The scene includes a broad notch in the crest of the crater’s rim, which may have been a spillway where water or ice or wind flowed over the rim and into the crater. Wheel tracks visible in the area of the notch were left by Opportunity as the rover studied the ground there and took images into the valley below for use in planning its route.

“It is a tantalizing scene,” said Opportunity Deputy Principal Investigator Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis. “You can see what appear to be channels lined by boulders, and the putative spillway at the top of Perseverance Valley. We have not ruled out any of the possibilities of water, ice or wind being responsible.”

Opportunity’s panoramic camera (Pancam) took the component images of the scene during a two-week driving moratorium in June 2017 while rover engineers diagnosed a temporary stall in the left-front wheel’s steering actuator. The wheel was pointed outward more than 30 degrees, prompting the team to call the resulting vista Pancam’s “Sprained Ankle” panorama. Both ends of the scene show portions of Endeavour Crater’s western rim, extending north and south, and the center of the scene shows terrain just outside the crater.

The team was able to straighten the wheel to point straight ahead, and now uses the steering capability of only the two rear wheels. The right-front wheel’s steering actuator has been disabled since 2006. Opportunity has driven 27.95 miles (44.97 kilometers) since landing on Mars in 2004. [More at link]

PIA21724_hires

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HiRISE: Flow on the side of a mesa in Protonilus Mensae

tumblr_oqxyd8SfaH1rlz4gso3_1280Flow on the side of a mesa in Protonilus Mensae. Beautiful Mars series.

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THEMIS: Channels of Granicus Valles

Channels in Granicus Valles (THEMIS_IOTD_20170720)THEMIS Image of the Day, July 20, 2017. This VIS image shows part of Granicus Valles. Granicus Valles is just one of several long channels found on the western margin of the Elysium Volcanic Complex.

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

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