Nov 24, 2019


If it's quiet solitude and beauty you seek, there is no better place than the surface of Mars. Mars has earned its moniker as the red planet, but the HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) can transform the subtle differences of soils into a rainbow of colours.

For 10 years, HiRISE has recorded gorgeous - and scientifically valuable - images of Mars. Its photos are so detailed that scientists can examine the planet's features at the scale of just a few feet, including the recent crash site of Europe's Schiaparelli Mars lander.

We combed through 2,054 of the camera's latest pictures, released in August, September, and October, to bring you some of the best - and hopefully help you temporarily escape Earth.

A large chasm:

NASA might land its next nuclear-powered Mars 2020 rover mission here.

 Zebra skin. Just kidding, this is a dune field that's speckled with oval-shaped mineral deposits:
 A recent impact crater on Mars. (We're pretty sure no one put out a giant cigarette here.)

 Beautiful texture in the region called North Sinus Meridiani:

 False colours assigned to certain minerals make Syria Planum an inky blue that's speckled with gold:
 A crater on Arcadia Planitia, a large flat region of Mars:
Layers in Martian buttes found in a region called West Arabia:
 Another gully scientists are having HiRISE monitor:
 Glacial terrain looks strangely iridescent:
 The creation of 'fans' around dunes may help scientists understand seasonal changes on Mars:
 NASA might land its next nuclear-powered Mars 2020 rover mission here.
 NASA keeps an eye of gullies like this for small landslides - and any water that melts in the warm sun to form darker-colored mud.
 False-coloring this image makes a giant dune and its gullies look blue.
 Cerberus Palus crater showing off layered sediments:
 Terrain near the Martian equator:
 Some dark, rust-colored dunes in Russell Crater:
 Blowing sand eats through the rims of older craters:
 Mars in all its two-toned glory:
 The black splotch is where the European Space Agency's Schiaparelli Mars lander crashed. The white specks, pointed out with arrows, are pieces of the lander.

Seasonal dunes on Mars nicknamed 'Buzzel'.

 The edges of a debris apron, where cliff material eroded away.

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