Thanks to the Indian Space Research Organization and a little help from the Planetary Society, we just got a new batch of spectacular photos of the Red Planet. The images come from the Mars Orbiter, a spacecraft launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in 2013. The Mars Orbiter successfully inserted itself into Mars orbit on September 24th, 2014, making ISRO the fourth space agency ever to put a spacecraft into orbit around the Red Planet. Since then, the spacecraft has been gathering images of the Martian surface, as well as studying the planet’s atmosphere and all the nearby space particles.
ISRO released the first year’s worth of data from the Mars Orbiter on September 17th, which you can access here. But as an added bonus, Emily Lakdawalla, senior editor of the Planetary Society, recently played around with some of those raw data images to create even more beautiful views of our planetary neighbor. Thanks to some color-correction and a few other editing tweaks, Lakdawalla enhanced the images to create some stunning pictures, ranging from global views of the planet to close-ups of the diverse terrain on its surface.
Check out the fruit of Lakdawalla's work below, and look out for a few appearances from Mars’ crazy moon Phobos.
- Syrtis Major and Hellas (ISRO/ISSDC/Emily Lakdawalla)
- Tharsis Montes and Valles Marineris (ISRO/ISSDC/Emily Lakdawalla)
- A view of Mars, containing the landing sites for Viking 1, Mars Pathfinder, Opportunity, and Schiaparelli. The future ExoMars lander site is also contained in this image. (ISRO/ISSDC/Emily Lakdawalla)
- Elysium Planitia and Gale Crater (ISRO/ISSDC/Emily Lakdawalla)
- Meridiani Planum (ISRO/ISSDC/Emily Lakdawalla)
- Mars' moon Phobos can be seen in this image (barely) as a tiny black dot. (ISRO/ISSDC/Emily Lakdawalla)
- A closer view of Phobos. (ISRO/ISSDC/Emily Lakdawalla)
- Gale Crater — the current home of NASA's Curiosity Rover. (ISRO/ISSDC/Emily Lakdawalla)
- Tharsis Montes (ISRO/ISSDC/Emily Lakdawalla)
- Valles Marineris (ISRO/ISSDC/Emily Lakdawalla)
- Arsia Mons (ISRO/ISSDC/Justin Cowart)
- Candor Chasma and Ophir Chasma, two large Martian canyons. (ISRO/ISSDC/Justin Cowart)