September 3, 2009

High resolution Mars images are released

NASA says thousands of new images from more than 1,500 telescopic observations by its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have been released.

The images, taken in high resolution, show a wide range of gullies, dunes, craters, geological layering and other features on the Red Planet, NASA said.

The spacecraft's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera recorded the images from April through early August, the space agency said. The camera team at the University of Arizona releases several featured images each week and periodically releases much larger sets of new images, such as the batch posted Thursday.

NASA said each full image covers a strip of Martian ground 3.7 miles wide and about two to four times that long, showing detail as small as 1 yard across.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been studying Mars with an advanced set of instruments since 2006, NASA said in a statement. It has returned more data about the planet than all other past and current missions to Mars combined.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., manages the orbiter's mission.

The new images are available at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/releases/sept_09.php.