Dusty Mars


These side-by-side movies show how dust has engulfed Mars. They’re derived from data taken by the Mars Color Imager onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The view from May shows Valles Marineris chasms (left), Meridiani center, an autumn dust storm in Acidalia (top) and the early spring south polar cap (bottom). The view from July shows the same regions hidden by the dust cloud and haze that covered the planet.

Video Credit: NASA

Olympus Mons


Olympus Mons is an extinct volcano on Mars. It’s the tallest mountain in the Solar System. This picture of the mountain was taken recently by the Indian Space Research Organization’s Mars Orbiter from an altitude of  8,387 km. The arrow indicates the summit which rises about 21 km above the mean surface level, so high that it’s effectively above the atmosphere. The white area around the mountain is a cloud formation.

Image Credit: ISRO

THEMIS, Deimos, and Phobos


These images of Phobos and Deimos, the moons of Mars, were taken by the Mars Odyssey orbiter’s THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System) camera using visible-wavelength light. The apparent motion of the moon caused by the camera’s point-of-aimaim being moved during the 17-second span of the observation.

The distance to Phobos from Odyssey during the observation was about 5,600 km. The Deimos was almost 20,000 km away.

Image Credit: NASA