Ever since the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) went into orbit, its HiRISE camera has captured a lot of photos of the Red Planet—regularly returning invaluable scientific data needed to better understand it.
This time, NASA has published a rather huge photo dump of Mars, consisting of more than one thousand images that can familiarize you with the planet's craters, impact sites, dunes, labyrinths, ice caps, and other features.
"It's especially hefty because every 26 months, the geometry of Earth and Mars offer a sweet spot for data return," director of the Planetary Image Research Laboratory, Alfred McEwen, told Popular Science. It just so happened that this sweet spot coincided with Mars' equinox last May, when the Sun shined directly on the planet's equator—which gave the MRO a better view of the planet than usual.
Here are just a few of the many photos the MRO sent back:
All photos courtesy of NASA/JPL/University of Arizona. If you want to view the entire collection, check them out on HiRise's official website.
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