NASA Has Just Released 2,540 Gorgeous New Photos of Mars

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If it’s quiet solitude and beauty you seek, there is no better place than the surface of Mars.

Mars has earned its moniker as the red planet, but the HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) can transform the subtle differences of soils into a rainbow of colours.

For 10 years, HiRISE has recorded gorgeous – and scientifically valuable – images of Mars.

Its photos are so detailed that scientists can examine the planet’s features at the scale of just a few feet, including the recent crash site of Europe’s Schiaparelli Mars lander.

We combed through 2,054 of the camera’s latest pictures, released in August, September, and October, to bring you some of the best – and hopefully help you temporarily escape Earth.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A large chasm:

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Some dark, rust-colored dunes in Russell Crater:

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

NASA might land its next nuclear-powered Mars 2020 rover mission here.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

The black splotch is where the European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli Mars lander crashed. The white specks, pointed out with arrows, are pieces of the lander.

Zebra skin. Just kidding, this is a dune field that’s speckled with oval-shaped mineral deposits:

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

False-coloring this image makes a giant dune and its gullies look blue.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A possible landing site for the ExoMars 2020 mission, which the European Space Agency is running.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A North Pole dune field nicknamed “Kolhar,” after Frank Herbert’s fictional world.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Carbon dioxide that turns from solid to gas carves out these strange shapes at Mars’ south pole:

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A recent impact crater on Mars. (We’re pretty sure no one put out a giant cigarette here.)

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

‘Spiders’ are eruptions of dust caused by the way the Martian surface warms and cools:

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Cerberus Palus crater showing off layered sediments:

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

NASA keeps an eye of gullies like this for small landslides – and any water that melts in the warm sun to form darker-colored mud.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Another gully scientists are having HiRISE monitor:

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Glacial terrain looks strangely iridescent:

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A steep slope in Eastern Noctis Labyrinthus:

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Dunes in a Martian crater. The red bar is an artifact of NASA’s image processing:

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Wind-shaped dunes on Mars crawl across cracked soil in Nili Patera. The green bar is leftover from processing the image:

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

The same sand dunes in full color, a couple of months later:

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A crater on Arcadia Planitia, a large flat region of Mars:

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A small but recent impact crater:

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Blowing sand eats through the rims of older craters:

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

This is the edge of a special layered deposit at Mars’ south pole.

The false-colour makes the white look like ice, but it’s just one of the many layers of rock and soil.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

This crater near a region called Aonia Terra looks like part of the Death Star.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A fracture in the floor of Upper Morava Valles.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

39 COMMENTS

    • the colors are chosen in the processing of the images by NASA geologists. The colors they select have nothing to do with the possibility of organic life. They are just applied to various filters wavelengths.

        • They’re photographs. It says so at the top of the page. Please read and comprehend before posting. I sincerely believe that we need to have IQ and comprehension tests to permit people access to the internet. Or we could have a separate internet for people who failed kindergarten.

          “…the HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) can transform the subtle differences of soils into a rainbow of colours…”

          “…Its PHOTOS are so detailed that scientists can examine the planet’s features at the scale of just a few feet, including the recent crash site of Europe’s Schiaparelli Mars lander…”

        • Franc Vliege; It’s good to be ‘skeptical’ about unfamiliar claims people make, but there are limits to the wisdom behind it. Think about what is keeping you from accepting the truth of ‘cameras’ + ‘rocket launches’ + ‘space travel’ + ‘long time’. and putting these things together into one concept. For me it is easier (more reasonable) to imagine these things really happening and the photos are ‘real’ than to imagine Mars is not real, or the Earth is really flat, or cameras wouldn’t work in space, or rockets don’t actually leave the Earth’s atmosphere, etc. Not EVERY image of outer space in the last hundred years was a photo- many captions list them as Artist’s ‘rendering’ or Artist’s ‘creations’ of planets in other galaxies. You’re right about that. But one shouldn’t be so skeptical that you become pessimistic about life, about astronomy, doubting the existence of the natural word, thinking other people
          have made it all up in order to control your mind. You are actually smarter than that if you trust your common sense.

      • You believe these are real photos of Mars because you choose to. These are digital computer generated photos and there is nothing real that you are looking at. Graphics on the new generation of computer chips, if you look at older supposed photographs of Mars they are completely different. Funny how these new photos look like the landscapes you see in the lasted video games using high end graphics processing. This is part of the fairy tale we called NASA and the rest of the world space agencies. Global warming, COVID and all it’s variance that are coming, it’s all part of the same game, a game in which we are all to going lose.

    • Yep, that’s right.
      Imagination!
      You said it.
      Look at our globe, why is green land huge when it is not a continent?
      South America is 9 times bigger than Greenland but significantly smaller on the globe photos rendered by nasa.

      • OMG. It’s Mercator projection. Please, please think before posting. Good grief. Why are people who barely made it through high school permitted on the internet?

        • Probablement parce qu’ils ont appris à réfléchir eux. L’école est un endroit où mémoriser des choses et d’en apprendre de nouvelles, mais aussitôt que l’on va à rebrousse poils des connaissances que l’on nous montre, on est catalogué de tarés, etc, tout comme les gens qui ne veulent pas des vaccins sont catalogué d’anti-vaccins et de complotistes. Le questionnement est un signe d’intelligence, même si ça n’entre pas dans le standard actuel.
          Les gens les plus talentueux ne sont pas ceux qui ont de grandes études, mais ceux qui réfléchissent, qui posent des questions, essaient des choses, etc. La preuve, Justin Trudeau a quelques années d’université, et regardez ce que ça a donné. 😉

      • This idiot thinks a world map and a globe are the same thing. You’re the same person who will ask “why is the sky blue if space is really up there? Space must not exist.” Go back to school, maybe you’ll learn something the second time.

        • You’re assuming he attended school. Someone is only aware of the NASA science if they are educated in the school system. Do you ever question the science? I think it’s good to challenge the authorities, If you don’t there will be no new ideas.

  1. So amazing….so much to see . Thankyou. Space…All such an enormous amount of events being viewed and happening now …can hardly take it in. I hope much good comes from it in the future. I’m quite old now and so pleased to have seen some of it.

  2. Thé forms are so interesting. I really wish they would allow the photos to be as raw and natural as possible. Perhaps they need artificial color to differentiate for analytical purposes, but it creates a very false impression for the public.

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