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.

July 14, 1998
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

At Work on Mars
Credit: IMP Team, JPL, NASA

Explanation: To learn about the history ofMars, just ask the rocks. Last year, that's exactly what the robot rover Sojourner did. Sojouner can be seen, above, analyzing a rock nicknamed Moe, trying to discern its past. One significant discovery of the Mars Pathfinder mission was that of conglomerate rocks, indicating the presence of running water in the past. Such water, in turn, indicates that Mars was much more like watery Earth in the distant past. Visible in the foreground of this color-enhanced mosaic is part of the Sagan Memorial Station, while a hill nicknamed one of the "Twin Peaks" is visible about a kilometer in the distance.

Tomorrow's picture: A Ghost Galaxy

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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.