Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Images of Mars

New Images of Mars

Like sand dunes waving across a vast desert, folds of rock seem to ripple over the floor of the Western Candor Chasm, a major canyon in Mars's Vales Mariners rift system.

The patterns are created by multiple layers of light-colored rocks that once shifted and folded along Martian faults and are now being exposed by erosion.

This striking image is among 143 high-resolution color images of Mars released yesterday by NASA. These are the first color images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (Hires) camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Dark blue dunes rise above the coppery surface of Wits Crater, a possible landing site for NASA's new Mars Science Laboratory, which is set to launch in 2009.

Might look like an aerial view of waves crashing on a distant shore. But this scene, recently captured by NASA's HiRISE camera, is actually part of the largest sedimentary fan inside Mars's 96-mile-wide (154-kilometer- wide) Holden Crater.

Gullies across the Martian surface resemble Earthly mountain ranges in this high-resolution color image.

Sapphire-hued dunes and hills dot the inside of a crater in the Western Arabia Terra region of northern Mars-thought to be some of the oldest terrain on the red planet.

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