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Hubble’s best-yet image of Mars
July 09, 2001
Frosty white water ice clouds and swirling orange dust storms are seen in this sharpest view of Mars ever taken by a telescope near Earth. The Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, on board NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, took the picture on June 26, when Mars was approximately 43 million miles from Earth—the closest Mars has ever been to Earth since 1988. Hubble can see details as small as 10 miles across. The colors have been carefully balanced to give a realistic view of Mars’ hues as they might appear through a telescope. Especially striking is the large amount of seasonal dust storm activity seen in this image. One large storm system is churning high above the northern polar cap (top of image) and a smaller dust storm cloud can be seen nearby. Another large dust storm is spilling out of the giant Hellas impact basin in the Southern Hemisphere lower right. Hubble has observed Mars before, but never in such detail.
image/text: NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)





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