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Hubble Space Telescope's New Photos of 'Cloudy' Mars Released by NASA

May 23, 2016 05:18 AM EDT
The Sharpest View Of Mars Ever Taken From Earth
Mars was photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope as it approached the Earth for the anticipated "Mars Opposition" as the two planets orbit around the sun in the closest distance in years.
(Photo : Nasa/Getty Images)

During the Mars Opposition, the Earth and the red planet will orbit near each other. This event gives scientists the opportunity to get high definition photographs of Mars. But before the opposition happened today, NASA released new stunning photos of Mars with visible clouds around it. The photos were taken by the Hubble Space Telescope as the planet approached the Earth.


The Hubble Space Telescope is now specifically focused on Mars. Later today, Mars will be closest to Earth in a phenomenon called Mars opposition. Because of the approach, the telescope was able to get stunning photographs of Mars. In the photos, clouds were clearly visible sprawled throughout the red planet.The frozen polar caps are also visible while the surface of the red planet generally appears to be in dark rusty red hue. 


Some parts of the red planet are also surprisingly visible like the Syrtis Major Planitia and the Christiaan Huygens. The planet was 50 million miles from Earth when the photo was taken. According to NASA, the Hellas Planitia basin, a crater made by an asteroid impact 3.5 billion years ago was also visible. 

The said photograph also helped scientists to study the seasons on Mars according to Daily Mail. Although the icy caps are still frozen, the diminished amount of clouds on the North Pole suggests that it is summer season on the red planet.

Today, May 22 until May 30 Mars will be closest to Earth at about 46 million miles away. Because of the distance, Mars can be visible to the naked eye as a bright red speck of light in the sky.

"Just look southeast after the end of twilight and you can't miss it," said Alan MacRobert of Sky & Telescope in a statement.


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