Mars at 43 Million Miles From Earth

Stsci_2001-24a_1024

stsci_2001-24a July 5th, 2001

Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Frosty white water ice clouds and swirling orange dust storms above a vivid rusty landscape reveal Mars as a dynamic planet in this sharpest view ever obtained by an Earth-based telescope. NASA's Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope took the picture on June 26, when Mars was approximately 43 million miles (68 million km) from Earth - the closest Mars has ever been to Earth since 1988. Hubble can see details as small as 10 miles (16 km) across. The colors have been carefully balanced to give a realistic view of Mars' hues as they might appear through a telescope. Especially striking is the large amount of seasonal dust storm activity seen in this image. One large storm system is churning high above the northern polar cap [top of image], and a smaller dust storm cloud can be seen nearby. Another large dust storm is spilling out of the giant Hellas impact basin in the Southern Hemisphere [lower right]. Hubble has observed Mars before, but never in such detail. The biennial close approaches of Mars and Earth are not all the same. Mars' orbit around the Sun is markedly elliptical; the close approaches to Earth can range from 35 million to 63 million miles. Astronomers are interested in studying the changeable surface and weather conditions on Mars, in part, to help plan for a pair of NASA missions to land rovers on the planet's surface in 2004. The Mars opposition of 2001 serves as a prelude for 2003 when Mars and Earth will come within 35 million miles of each other, the closest since 1924 and not to be matched until 2287.

Provider: Space Telescope Science Institute

Image Source: https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/2001/news-2001-24

Curator: STScI, Baltimore, MD, USA

Image Use Policy: http://hubblesite.org/copyright/

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Image Details

Image Type
Planetary
Object Name
Mars
Subject - Solar System
Planet > Type > Terrestrial

Distance

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 1h 8m 36.1s
DEC = -26° 49’ 0.4”
Constellation
Sculptor

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (B) 410.0 nm
Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (V) 502.0 nm
Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (V) 588.0 nm
Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (R) 631.0 nm
Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (R) 673.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Stsci_2001-24a_1280
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ID
2001-24a
Subject Category
A.1.1.1  
Subject Name
Mars
Credits
NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Release Date
2001-07-05T00:00:00
Lightyears
1.46e-5
Redshift
1.46e-5
Reference Url
https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/2001/news-2001-24
Type
Planetary
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Distance from earth in miles: 86 million
Facility
Hubble, Hubble, Hubble, Hubble, Hubble
Instrument
WFPC2, WFPC2, WFPC2, WFPC2, WFPC2
Color Assignment
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
B, V, V, R, R
Central Wavelength
410, 502, 588, 631, 673, 1042
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
Reference Value
17.1503303, -26.8167667
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
Position
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
STScI
URL
http://hubblesite.org
Name
Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach
Email
outreach@stsci.edu
Telephone
410-338-4444
Address
3700 San Martin Drive
City
Baltimore
State/Province
MD
Postal Code
21218
Country
USA
Rights
http://hubblesite.org/copyright/
Publisher
STScI
Publisher ID
stsci
Resource ID
STSCI-H-p0124a-f-500x500.tif
Resource URL
https://mast.stsci.edu/api/latest/Download/file?uri=mast:OPO/product/STSCI-H-p0124a-f-500x500.tif
Related Resources
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2001/24
Metadata Date
2022-09-07T00:00
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.