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.

2024 June 5
A red landscape filled with rocks is shown. A hilltop
is visible in the distance. A shadow is visible on the landscape.
Please see the explanation for more detailed information.

Shadow of a Martian Robot
Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, MSSS, ASU, NeV-T, Perseverance Rover;
Processing & Copyright: Neville Thompson, Gigapan Zoom

Explanation: What if you saw your shadow on Mars and it wasn't human? Then you might be the Perseverance rover exploring Mars. Perseverance has been examining the Red Planet since 2021, finding evidence of its complex history of volcanism and ancient flowing water, and sending breathtaking images across the inner Solar System. Pictured here in February of 2024, Perseverance looks opposite the Sun and across Neretva Vallis in Jezero Crater, with a local hill visible at the top of the frame. The distinctively non-human shadow of the car-sized rover is visible below center, superposed on scattered rocks. Perseverance, now working without its flying companion Ingenuity, continues to search Mars for signs of ancient life.

Tomorrow's picture: galaxy on edge

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