Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

221,371 subscribers and counting ...

Where red Mars looks blue

Most images of Mars show colors homogenized by red dust and regolith. This infrared-red-blue color image shows Mars’ bedrock … and many colors.

View larger. | This is one of the most colorful places on Mars, as seen by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on February 5, 2016.  It's the The Nili Fossae region, located on the northwest rim of Isidis impact basin. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona.

View larger. | The Nili Fossae region on Mars – one of Mars’ most colorful places – located on the northwest rim of Isidis impact basin. Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona.

Mars is the red planet, but it turns out that many images we see of it show Mars’ colors as homogenized by the this world’s reddish dust and regolith. This new image from the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter – taken on February 5, 2016 – shows fantastic colors on Mars.

HiRISE stands for High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, and the camera team explained:

Here the bedrock is very well exposed, except where there are sand dunes.

The rocks also have diverse compositions, which produce different colors in HiRISE infrared-red-blue color images.

Deborah Byrd

MORE ARTICLES