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This artist's concept shows NASA's Mars orbiters lining up behind the Red Planet for their "duck and cover" maneuver to shield them fro comet dust that may result from the close flyby of comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) on Oct. 19, 2014.
Siding Spring Mars Spacecraft
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Artist's concept of Comet Siding Spring approaching Mars, shown with NASA's orbiters preparing to make science observations of this unique encounter.
NASA's Mars Orbiters Maneuvers as Comet Siding Spring Approaching Mars
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NASA's NEOWISE mission detected comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring on July 28, 2014, less than three months before this comet's close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19. This merging of multiple images presents the comet in four different positions relative to the background stars.
NEOWISE Checks on Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring
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Artist rendering of commercial Mars satellites providing communications back to Earth.
Artist's Concept of Mars Satellites
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A small impact crater on Mars named Gratteri, 4.3 miles (6.9 km) wide, lies at the center of large dark streaks.
Mars Impact Crater Gratteri
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No NASA Mars orbiter has been in a position to observe morning daylight on Mars since the twin Viking orbiters of the 1970s.
Martian Morning Clouds Seen by Viking Orbiter 1 in 1976
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This map of Mars indicates locations of new craters that have excavated ice (blue) and those that have not (red). The underlying map is based on the brightness, or albedo, of the Martian surface.
Locations of Ice-Exposing Fresh Craters on Mars
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This pair of maps indicates locations of confirmed sites of recurrent slope linea on Mars, with respect to elevation (upper map) and surface brightness, or albedo (lower map).
Maps of Recurrent Slope Linea Markings on Mars
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This false-color map shows the area within Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Aug. 5, 2012 PDT (Aug. 6, 2012 EDT) and the location where Curiosity collected its first drilled sample at the "John Klein" rock.
Location of John Klein Drill Site
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Ninth-grade, high-school students from Peoria, AZ analyze images of Mars.
Student Teams Work As Real Scientists
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This false-color map shows the area within Gale Crater on Mars, where NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Aug. 5, 2012 PDT (Aug. 6, 2012 EDT).
Downslope of the Fan
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As fractures opened near the summit of Tyrrhena Patera, the ground collapsed to make pits and chains of pits aligned with the fractures. The large pit seen here is about 400 m (1,300 ft) deep.
Collapse on Tyrrhena Patera
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Around 200 kilometers long, Ravi Vallis was born in a flood of water from Aromatum Chaos (left). The racing waters sliced a pathway across Xanthe Terra, spawned at least two small chaos regions in the channel (center), and then hurtled over the plateau edge to disappear into another chaos region (right foreground). In the distance at left lies Orson Welles Crater and the meandering path of Shalbatana Vallis, a much longer outflow channel perhaps related hydrologically to Ravi.
Ravi Vallis
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A small section of Dao Vallis in shown in this VIS image. Dao Vallis is a major channel that drains into Hellas Planitia
Dao Valles
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Marte Vallis, located in Amazonis Planitia, is broad and shallow. The streamlined islands at the top and bottom of the image illustrate this.
Marte Vallis in Amazonis Planitia
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This crater, located in Chryse Planitia, is relatively unmodified, meaning it appears very much like it did when it first formed.
Lismore Crater
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Fans and ribbons of dark sand dunes creep across the floor of Bunge Crater in response to winds blowing from the direction at the top of the picture. The frame is about 14 kilometers (9 miles) wide.
Bunge Crater Dunes
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This mosaic image of Valles Marineris - colored to resemble the martian surface - comes from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS), a visible-light and infrared-sensing camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter.
The Grand Canyon of Mars-Valles Marineris
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This image shows two small tributaries, just east of where they join Shalbatana Vallis.
Shalbatana Vallis
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Part of a multispectral THEMIS infrared image of Nili Patera caldera on Syrtis Major has been superimposed on a high-resolution THEMIS visual image.
Nili Patera and Dacite Lava Flow
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When the Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, landed on Meridiani Planum in January 2004, it quickly found what it had been sent from Earth to find: evidence of liquid water in the Martian past.
Meridiani Planum
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A false-color mosaic focuses on one junction in Noctis Labyrinthus where Mars canyons meet to form a depression 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) deep.
Canyon Junction
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On the southwest edge of the immense volcanic region of Tharsis, lava from its giant volcanoes flowed down to meet the old cratered landscape of Terra Sirenum.
Terra Sirenum
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The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has completed an unprecedented full decade of observing Mars from orbit.
Tenth Anniversary Image from Camera on NASA Mars Orbiter
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Echus Chasma forms the boundary between the Tharsis volcanoes to the west and Lunae Planum to the east. This region is one of both tectonically fractured rocks (top of image) and volcanic flows (middle and bottom of image). Echus Chasma empties into Kasei Valles.
Echus Chasma
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