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.

March 17, 1998
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
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Clouds Over Tharsis on Mars
Credit: MOC Team, MGS, NASA

Explanation: When and where do clouds form on Mars? The Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft currently orbiting Mars is finding out. Photographs released last week showed clouds forming above Tharsis, a huge bulge on Mars about 4000 kilometers across and 7 kilometers high containing several large volcanoes. These clouds temporarily disappeared as a large dust storm emerged from the South, the first developing dust storm to be tracked by an orbiting spacecraft. Mars Global Surveyor continues to aerobrake during on its ongoing mission to survey the planet Mars.

Tomorrow's picture: Interstellar Dust-Bunnies of NGC 891

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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.