NASA Releases Stunning Image of Mars Captured By Hubble Telescope

May 20, 2016 | Johannes Van Zijl

Mars Hubble photo
Photo credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), J. Bell (ASU), and M. Wolff (Space Science Institute) (image has been cropped)

The image reveals Mars as a dynamical seasonal planet, with clouds and changing weather patterns. 

NASA has revealed a stunning new image of Mars taken by the Hubble Telescope.  Although it’s not Hubble’s main priority to take snapshots of planets in our solar system, when it does, they prove to be magnificent and actually very useful.  

The newly captured image on May 12 seemingly shows some aspects of the red planet that we had not yet seen before.

While we might sometimes think of Mars as a rusty-looking rock floating through space, that doesn’t mean the planet is not active.

Mars Hubble annotated
photo credit: NASA 

The image provides us with some new insights: it indicates the planet is very much active, with ever-changing weather patterns. The image denotes extensive, early morning cloud coverage around the western hemisphere of the red planet. It also reveals bright, frosty ice caps in the Polar Regions, weather activity, and some very large asteroid craters.

On the right side of the image, one can see changing weather activity over Syrtis Major Planitia, a very large inactive volcano.

There is also a massive asteroid crater visible on the bottom right of the image, the Hella Planitia basin, which measures 1,100 miles (1,800 km) across, and 5 miles (8 km) deep. The crater was formed 3.5 billion years ago, and it’s not like anything we have seen on earth.  

The wonderful image by Hubble proves that our knowledge about the red planet can be furthered along, allowing for a better understanding of our neighboring planet.

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