Stephen Speicher

Beautiful images of Mars from the Rosetta spacecraft

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Rosetta, a spacecraft launched on a ten-year mission to ultimately land on a comet, took this magnificent picture of Mars earlier today as the spacecraft swung by the planet.

mars_osiris_rosetta_L.jpg

Later, at a distance of appoximately 621 miles from Mars, Rosetta's imaging system took this photo of portions of itself with Mars in the background.

mars_philae_L.jpg

And here is an amazing picture showing some sort of atmospheric structure above the Martian surface, perhaps clouds or dust.

mars_green_red_ratio2_L.jpg

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The right limb of Mars--particularly the upper right--looks a little "lumpy." It's a sharp line so it's not the terminator (which is on the left), but rather the true "horizon" Could this be the Tharsis bulge?

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Could this be the Tharsis bulge?

I'm not very familiar with Martian real estate, but I doubt that is Tharsis. If it were, I would think there would be some dark rings spreading out that would be noticeable. But, I don't know for sure.

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