We thought that Mars was supposed to be The Red Planet, right? Well, according to brand new and incredible pictures released by NASA, it most certainly isn’t. In fact, it seems like the mysterious planet is a concoction of just about every other colour other than red, and it’s strikingly beautiful. The images were captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which has been rotating Mars since it was launched into space all the way back in 2005. Since then, thousands of images have been sent back to earth for wildly intelligent scientists to salivate over, but the latest batch or on another level of awesome. Check out this collection and see how these NASA images of Mars have changed everything.
Cryptic Terrain: Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, after Mercury.
Irregular Basin Floor Materials: Named after the Roman god of war, it is often referred to as the “Red Planet” because the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance.
Kolhar Dunes: It’s a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth.
Spider Terrain: It’s is the site of Olympus Mons, the largest volcano and second-highest known mountain in the Solar System.
Steep Slopes Of Hebes Chasma: The planet has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are small and irregularly shaped. These may be captured asteroids.
Russell Crater Dunes: There are ongoing investigations assessing the past habitability potential of Mars, as well as the possibility of extant life.
Slope Monitoring In Aram Chaos: Mars is approximately half the diameter of Earth, and its surface area is only slightly less than the total area of Earth’s dry land.
Edge Of Mesa Near Idaeus Fossae: Landforms visible on Mars strongly suggest that liquid water has existed on the planet’s surface. Huge linear swathes of scoured ground, known as outflow channels, cut across the surface in around 25 places.
Cratered Layered Terrain And Wall Slopes In Melas Chasma: As of September 2014, only 18 missions to Mars have been successful. There have been 40 missions including orbiters, landers and rovers but not counting flybys.
Recent Impact Site: Mars has the largest dust storms in the solar system. They can last for months and cover the entire planet. The seasons are extreme because its elliptical (oval-shaped) orbital path around the Sun is more elongated than most other planets in the solar system.
Valley With Flows In Noachis Terra: Scientists have found tiny traces of Martian atmosphere within meteorites violently ejected from Mars, then orbiting the solar system amongst galactic debris for millions of years, before crash landing on Earth.
Monitor Gullies In Heaviside Crater: In the next 20-40 million years, Mars’ largest moon Phobos will be torn apart by gravitational forces leading to the creation of a ring that could last up to 100 million years.
Syria Planum Bedform And Albedo Changes: At the closest point to the Sun, the Martian southern hemisphere leans towards the Sun, causing a short, intensely hot summer, while the northern hemisphere endures a brief, cold winter.
Deposits In Noctis Labyrinthus: At its farthest point from the Sun, the Martian northern hemisphere leans towards the Sun, causing a long, mild summer, while the southern hemisphere endures a lengthy, cold winter.