(ORDO NEWS) — A stunning new image shows Mars in a new light, revealing intricate details of the Martian surface. It turns out that the Red Planet does not look quite as we imagined it before. This is reported by Space.
A new image of the Red Planet was presented for the 20th anniversary of the European Space Agency‘s (ESA) Mars Express spacecraft. Since Mars Express entered orbit around Mars on Christmas Day 2003, the orbiter has been taking pictures of the Martian surface from a height of about 186 miles (300 kilometers), closest to the Red Planet. This made it possible to make an image about 31 miles (50 km) wide.
A stunning image of Mars, consisting of dozens of photos, was taken by the camera of the Mars Express spacecraft called HRSC, when the device was orbiting Mars in an elongated orbit and was at a distance of 4,000 to 50,000 km above the surface of the planet.
In this simulated image of Mars with improved colors and contrast, the darker gray regions of Mars are gray-black basaltic sands of volcanic origin; clay and sulfate minerals are visible in lighter areas; and the big “scar” on the face of the planet is a huge system of canyons called the Mariner Valley. These canyons stretch on the surface of the planet for a distance of more than 4000 km.
Although such pictures are taken by the device to analyze the weather on Mars, if you put them together, you can get a picture of the entire planet and see complex details of the surface, scientists from ESA say. Thanks to the new photo, it is really clear that Mars is not quite a red planet, thanks to the rich color range, and in this way you can see Mars as you have never seen it before.
The resulting images are a vivid example of the huge impact that Mars Express has had on science since it first entered orbit around the Red Planet exactly two decades ago.
Despite the fact that the ESA mission was initially designed for only one Mars hour, which is equivalent to 687 Earth days, the life of the Mars Express mission has been extended until at least 2026. This means that the HRSC camera has enough time to take even more stunning pictures of the planet.
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