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.

2023 August 10
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Five Meters over Mars
Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Ingenuity

Explanation: On mission sol 872 (Earth date August 3) Ingenuity snapped this sharp image on its 54th flight above the surface of the Red Planet. During the flight the Mars Helicopter hovered about 5 meters, or just over 16 feet, above the Jezero crater floor. Tips of Ingenuity's landing legs peek over the left and right edges in the camera's field of view. Tracks visible near the upper right corner lead to the Perseverance Mars Rover, seen looking on from a distance at the top right edge of the frame. Planned as a brief "pop-up" flight, Ingenuity's 54th flight lasted less than 25 seconds. It followed Ingenuity's 53rd flight made on July 22 that resulted in an unscheduled landing.

Tomorrow's picture: 255 hours

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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