New Look Mars
Mars looks a whole lot different and downright beautiful in new ultraviolet images shared by NASA.
Instead of Mars' dusty red color we are all familiar with, these two UV images originally taken by NASA's MAVEN spacecraft in July 2022 and January 2023, bathe the fourth planet from the Sun in brilliant purples, mossy forest greens, pale red wine hues, and mottled sea blues.
Of course, these colors don't exist in real life since UV rays are invisible to the naked eye. NASA used "false color" image processing to render the vivid colors of these photos.
Scientists assigned these colors to specific wavelengths within the UV spectrum in order to study the planet's unique features — and the results are absolutely gorgeous.
In these photographs, purple signifies the planet's atmospheric ozone, and clouds and haze in the sky are rendered in blue or white. The Martian surface is either painted in shades of beige and green, tweaked to show greater contrast and detail, according to NASA.
NASA scientists hope these stunning pictures will help them understand the planet's thin atmosphere and its fascinating past.
NASA launched MAVEN in November 2013. The following year, the spacecraft entered the planet's orbit and embarked on its mission to study the planet's thin atmosphere and how it lost much of it in the past due to solar wind and radiation from the Sun.
And we're glad it's still delivering stunning images.
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