FYI:[Pigdog] Hubble's Martian pictures (fwd)

Eugene Leitl (
Sat, 22 Mar 1997 14:53:39 +0100 (MET)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 1997 05:25:53 -0800 (PST)
From: Zach Copley <>
Subject: [Pigdog] Hubble's Martian pictures

from NASA -

New, sharpest-ever views of the planet Mars taken
by the Wide Field Planetary Camera-2 (WFPC2) aboard
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope on March 10, 1997
(following the successful STS-82 Hubble second
servicing mission), clearly show clouds, dust storms,
polar caps and other bright and dark markings known to
astronomers for more than a century. Taken just before
Mars opposition -- when the red planet comes closest
to the Earth this year (about 60 million miles or 100
million km) -- the images were contained in a single
picture element (pixel) in WFPC2's Planetary Camera
which spans 13 miles (22 km) on the Martian surface.

These images show the planet during the transition
between spring and summer in the northern hemisphere
(summer solstice). The annual north-polar, carbon-
dioxide frost (dry ice) cap is rapidly subliming,
revealing the much smaller permanent water-ice cap,
along with a few nearby detached regions of surface

Hubble is being used to monitor dust storm
activity to support the Mars Pathfinder and Mars
Global Surveyor Orbiter Missions, which are currently
en route to Mars. Hubble's "weather report" from these
images, is invaluable for Mars Pathfinder, which is
scheduled for a July 4 landing. These images show no
evidence for large-scale dust storm activity, which
plagued a previous Mars mission in the early 1970s.

Images are available to news media representatives by
calling 202/358-1900. Photo numbers are:
Color: Syrtis Major 97-HC-136
Mars at Opposition 97-HC-137

Image files are also available on the Internet on
GIF and JPEG formats via anonymous ftp from in /pubinfo

Syrtis Major gif/marssm97.gif jpeg/marssm97.jpg
Mars at
Opposition gif/marssm97.gif jpeg/marssm97.jpg

Higher resolution digital versions (300 dpi JPEG)
of the image are available in /pubinfo/hrtemp: 97-
09a.jpg (color) and 97-09abw.jpg (black and white).

GIF and JPEG images, captions and information are
available via World Wide Web at: and via
links in: or

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