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Emily LakdawallaJanuary 27, 2016

Wide views of Mars from Mars Express

Geologist and amateur space image processor Justin Cowart has been taking a dive into Mars Express' High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) data lately and posting some of the results on his Flickr page. The best science from HRSC has been done on their highest-resolution pictures, taken close to the planet, but I really enjoy the wider views that HRSC takes when much farther away from Mars on Mars Express' highly ellptical orbit.

I'm not sure I can recall a prettier picture of the four great volcanoes of Mars' Tharsis region:

Martian volcanoes

ESA / DLR / FU Berlin / Justin Cowart

Martian volcanoes
Widefield image of the Mars' Tharsis volcanic region, captured on June 29, 2014 during Mars Express' 13,323rd orbit of Mars. Olympus Mons is at center. Across top center from left to right are Ascraeus Mons, Pavonis Mons, and Arsia Mons. Noctis Labyrinthus can be seen near the horizon at top left. Click here for a lossless PNG version (10 MB).

And here's another broad view across the other major volcanic province of Mars, Elysium:

Elysium and environs, Mars

ESA / DLR / FU Berlin / Justin Cowart

Elysium and environs, Mars
This wide Mars Express view takes in Mars from Utopia Planitia in the north, across the volcanoes of Elysium Mons, to Elysium Planitia in the south. It was taken on June 11, 2014. Click here for a lossless PNG version (68 MB).

Here's Mars' north pole, a nice pair to the one that the mission released of the south pole a while back:

Looking over Mars' north pole

ESA / DLR / FU Berlin / Justin Cowart

Looking over Mars' north pole
Mars Express captured this wide view across Mars' north pole and south towards Acidalia Planitia on April 7, 2014. Click here for a lossless PNG version (16 MB).

And finally, one higher-resolution image, containing a beautiful rime of morning frost in the mountains next to Hellas basin.

Frost in the Hellespontus Montes, Mars

ESA / DLR / FU Berlin / Justin Cowart

Frost in the Hellespontus Montes, Mars
Mars Express captured this atmospheric view of morning frost on the Hellespontus Montes, on the western edge of Hellas basin, on February 8, 2014. Click here for a lossless PNG version (22 MB).

Read more: pretty pictures, amateur image processing, Mars Express, Mars

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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