Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

October 17, 1997

Mars: A Mist In Mariner Valley
Credit: MGS Project, JPL, NASA

Explanation: An icy mist and late afternoon clouds cover much of this section of Valles Marineris on Mars. The Valles Marineris or Mariner Valley is a huge canyon system about 2,000 miles long and up to 5 miles deep. This test image was produced using data from Mars Global Surveyor's wide angle cameras viewing the canyon from a distance of 360-600 miles. Color was synthesized using images recorded through blue and red filters. Mission controllers have recently raised the spacecraft's aerobraking orbit to study the unexpected motion of one of the Surveyor's solar panels.

Tomorrow's picture: The Pleiades Star Cluster

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.