Jason Davis • Sep 10, 2015
Pretty Picture: A Sweeping View of the Martian South Pole
It was a clear, sunny day in the southern Martian highlands last February when the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft flew overhead at about 10,000 kilometers. The twelve-year-old probe panned its high-resolution stereo camera from the south pole up to Hellas Basin, capturing an image of a battered region of the planet. The scene includes four large craters: Huxley, Secchi, Wallace and Tikhov.
ESA scientists assembled this 2584-by-6456-pixel pretty picture by aligning the camera's color data with distinct features on the surface like mountains and dark spots. Here it is:
And here's an annotated version:
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