Top 5 Most Exciting Images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter




Our next-door neighbour planet Mars may not have the mind blowing liquid methane and ethane lakes and gasoline rain as Titan (One of Saturn’s more interesting moons) has – but recent images captured from the orbiting Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveals the planet to be anything other than boring.

The HiRISE camera on board the Orbiter is a 0.5 m reflecting telescope – this is the largest that has ever been carried on a deep space mission and has a resolution of 1 microradian, or 0.3 m from an altitude of 300 km. To put this in perspective, satellite images on Google Maps are generally available to 1 m.

Here at Funzim we have collected our top 5 favourite images from the Orbiter and present them to you here – enjoy!

5. Mystery Martian Morphology

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The top scientists working on these images originally had no idea what could form this crazy landscape pattern. This particular snap was taken at the southern edge of Acidalia Planitia – a Martian plane. More recent theories of the formulation of these shapes include potential glacial activity – impact craters and wind erosion have both been ruled out on this one.

Some say that there were ancient oceans over this region–could that somehow explain these features? Ancient glaciation is another possibility, perhaps – icerich debris next to topographic obstacles. Future images of this place may provide clues, but for now this is a mystery.

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