100 Incredible Images of Mars
On August 12, 2005, NASA launched the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter — a spacecraft designed to study the climate and geology of Mars, map the planet’s surface, and survey for potential rover landing sites. The spacecraft orbits Mars at an average distance of 287 kilometers (178 miles), scanning, probing, and photographing the planet in exquisite, unprecedented detail. What follows are images captured by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, one of the Orbiter’s six science instruments. HiRISE (as the camera is known for short) was developed and is managed by a team of scientists at the University of Arizona, to whom all credit belongs for these incredible images.
💬 Both the colors and the contents of these images are not necessarily what would be visible to the naked eye; some of these images were captured observing infrared light, which light is invisible to human eyes. Thus, to make the details of such images comprehensible, the images have been shifted into wavelengths that we can perceive.
Since capturing the first image of Mars on September 29, 2006, the HiRISE scientists at the University of Arizona have been dutifully collecting, cataloguing, and posting high-resolution images of the planet on their website. Their efforts have produced a library of over 67,000 images, all of which are available to view and download in various formats and at various resolutions. So if you found the images in this article interesting or inspiring, go have yourself a time. ;)