Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2000 January 6
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.
Mars in the New Year
Credit: Malin Space Science Systems, MGS, JPL, NASA

Explanation: Many will long remember where they were and what they were doing when the calendar rolled over to the year 2000. On Mars, of course, that date was nothing special and the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft continued with business as usual - systematically recording images of the Red Planet from orbit. In fact, this striking high-resolution picture was taken less than 7 hours after the new year began for planet Earth's "Universal Time" zone. The area seen is about 3 kilometers across at a maximum resolution of 4.5 meters per pixel. It shows a wonderful variety of surface features and textures in the Martian northern hemisphere region Nilosyrtis Mensae.

Tomorrow's picture: Starworks

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.