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Hubble Delivers Most Detailed Pictures Of Mars

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  • Stig Agermose
    Source: News release by the Space Telescope Science Institute, http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/1999/27/index.html Stig *** A Closer Encounter With Mars **
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 3, 1999
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      Source: News release by the Space Telescope Science Institute,

      http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/1999/27/index.html

      Stig

      ***

      A Closer Encounter With Mars

      **

      Taking advantage of Mars's closest approach to Earth in eight years,
      astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have taken the space-based
      observatory's sharpest views yet of the Red Planet. NASA is releasing these
      images to commemorate the second anniversary of the Mars Pathfinder landing.

      The telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 snapped these images
      between April 27 and May 6, when Mars was 54 million miles (87 million
      kilometers) from Earth. From this distance the telescope could see Martian
      features as small as 12 miles (19 kilometers) wide. The telescope obtained
      four images, which, together, show the entire planet. Each view depicts the
      planet as it completes one quarter of its daily rotation.

      These Hubble telescope snapshots reveal that substantial changes in the
      bright and dark markings on Mars have occurred in the 20 years since the
      NASA Viking spacecraft missions first mapped the planet. These images show
      that the Martian surface is dynamic and ever changing. Some regions that
      were dark 20 years ago are now bright red; some areas that were bright red
      are now dark. Winds move sand and dust from region to region, often in
      spectacular dust storms. Over long timescales many of the larger bright and
      dark markings remain stable, but smaller details come and go as they are
      covered and then uncovered by sand and dust.

      See the full caption for more information.

      Photo credits: Steve Lee (University of Colorado), Jim Bell (Cornell
      University), Mike Wolff (Space Science Institute), and NASA

      Other researchers involved in the collection and analysis of these Hubble
      telescope data are R. Todd Clancy (Space Science Institute), Philip James
      (University of Toledo), and Michael Ravine (Malin Space Science Systems,
      Inc.).

      **

      The Space Telescope Science Institute is operated by the Association of
      Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA), for NASA, under
      contract with the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. The Hubble
      Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and
      the European Space Agency (ESA).


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