Astronomy Picture of the Week – Mars as Seen by Hubble

This is one of the best photos of Mars ever taken from Earth or Low Earth Orbit. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope took this close-up of the red planet Mars when it was just 88 million kilometers away. This color image was assembled from a series of exposures taken within 36 hours of the Mars closest approach with Hubble’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. Although better pictures of Mars have been taken by the various missions that have been sent to the red planet, this one is really exceptional considering the distance.

Mars as seen by Hubble TelescopeImage Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), J. Bell (Cornell University), and M. Wolff (Space Science Institute, Boulder)