Science at home: HiRISE images of Mars

by Terry Burton, Digital Media Coordinator

Thanks to amazing new pictures from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera mounted on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, you can imagine that you’re pressing your nose to the window of a plane flying over the Red Planet: cruising Mars from the comfort of your chair.

The camera is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson, and is part of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission. The MRO was launched August 12, 2005, and is searching for evidence that water persisted on the surface of Mars for a long period of time. Scientific instruments aboard the MRO are zooming in for extreme close-up photography of the martian surface, analyzing minerals, looking for subsurface water, tracing how much dust and water are distributed in the atmosphere, and monitoring daily global weather.

The HiRISE camera is the largest ever flown on a planetary mission. This camera is capable of showing objects as small as three feet across — the size of your dining room table!

HiRISE image of Victoria Crater on Mars

HiRISE image of Victoria Crater on Mars (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

Gullies at the edge of Hale Crater, Mars (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

Gullies at the edge of Hale Crater, Mars (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

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3 Responses to “Science at home: HiRISE images of Mars”


  1. 1 Nancy Burton September 9, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    WHAT ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS PHOTOS! THANKS FOR SHARING.

  2. 2 Robyn October 2, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    You forgot to mention that that camera that flies on HiRISE was designed and built right in Boulder by the engineers at Ball Aerospace! Doesn’t that make it even cooler!?

    http://www.ballaerospace.com/page.jsp?page=68

  3. 3 tburton1004 October 2, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Good catch, Robyn! See today’s post “Napoleon in Outer Space” for more on Ball Aerospace!


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