Hubble Takes New Mars Portrait
Posted on May 20, 2016
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured a new Mars portrait on May 12, 2016. The image was released today. Mars was 50 million miles from Earth when the image was captured. It reveals details as small as 20 to 30 miles across.
The images shows clouds, bright polar caps and the plant's rust-colored landscape. Here are a few of the visible features:
- The orange area is the center is Arabia Terra. The region covers 2,800 miles and contains dried river canyons.
- The dark features south and west of Arabia Terra are Sinus Sabaeus and Sinus Meridiani. These darker regions are covered by dark bedrock and fine-grained sand deposits ground down from ancient lava flows and other volcanic features.
- The large dark region on the far right is Syrtis Major Planitia. It is an ancient inactive shield volcano. It was first identified in the 17th century.
- The large oval feature south of Syrtis Major is the Hellas Planitia basin. It is 1,100 miles across and nearly five miles deep. It was formed about 3.5 billion years ago by an asteroid impact.
- The southern polar ice cap is larger than the northern ice cap because it is now late summer in the northern hemisphere.
You can view and download high-resolution photos here on hubblesite.org.
Image: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), J. Bell (ASU), and M. Wolff (Space Science Institute)