Mars Observed—Then Oblivion

Mars Observed—Then Oblivion
Mars Observed—Then Oblivion Mars Observer didn't leave us much, just this "postcard" taken 5.8 million kilometers from Mars on July 26, just 27 days before it lost contact with Earth. From this distance, the planet displays the face familiar to telescopic observers on Earth. The dark feature in the center is Syrtis Major, a region of volcanic plains and sand dunes. At the top is Nilosyrtis, a region of buttes, mesas and box canyons similar to the southwestern deserts of the United States. Near the bottom is the Hellas basin, a circular impact crater some 2,000 kilometers across. JPL / NASA

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