Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mars photo filler

I've been bad about posting, so here is an image I assembled from a video taken of Mars on July 30th, 2003. The prominent peninsula to the bottom of Mars is Syrtis Major, the darkest feature on Mars visible from Earth. It's a region scoured clean of any dust, leaving only dark basaltic rock exposed. Extending to the right is Sinus Meridiani, location of the still running Mars Opportunity rover. The bright polar cap is the South Polar Cap. The color fringes are real--real on Earth, that is. Mars was low in the sky, and the Earth's atmosphere acted like a weak lens and bent the colors slightly differently, enough to create fringes (North is to the bottom in the image). Here's a map of the landing sites, and an interactive Google Mars link.

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