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Hubble snaps a beautiful new high-resolution portrait of Mars

NASA, ESA, et al.
Mars, seen from the Hubble Space Telescope on May 12th.
Published This article is more than 2 years old.

On May 30th, Mars will be the closest it has been to Earth in 11 years. To celebrate the occasion, Hubble scientists pointed the eponymous telescope at the red planet and took the photo above. Though better-known for snapping pictures of things much further away, the Hubble has frequently been used to to survey celestial bodies within our own solar system.

The new photo captures details of the Martian surface between 20 and 30 miles across. The orange region in the center of the image is Arabia Terra, a 2,800 mile region that NASA believes may be the oldest terrain on the planet. The white wisps around the edges are clouds.

NASA, ESA, et al.
NASA provided this guide to the major features visible in the new photo.

Among the details you can’t make out are the landing sites of three Mars missions. Put your eyes at the center of the planet and then move down and to the left, to where the orange landscape hooks down around the blue. If you could zoom really, really, really close then you would see the Opportunity Rover—still tooling around after more than 4,000 days on Mars.

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