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Home / Science / Space Photos of the Week: The Trail of Opportunity and More

Space Photos of the Week: The Trail of Opportunity and More



The Long and Martian Road: In August 2010, the opportunity was taken back and took a photo of its tracks in the Red Planet's sand. This image features the lovely ripples of small dunes created by the wind. Opportunity took many epic shots like this cruising around Mars for 15 years. Now it's lost to us.

Behold more dunes: These crescent-shaped sand formations are called barchan dunes. From this photo, captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's HiRISE camera, scientists can tell the prevailing winds are blowing east to west.

Opportunity is lost, but we are not done with Mars yet. Earlier this month, the InSight lander successfully placed a thermal wind and heat shield atop its seismometer. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is flying overhead and not only the dark-colored solar panels of the lander, but also the new shield as well as it appears as a tiny white dot just below. Around the lander and shield are shaded regions that show the dust kicked up during the landing, when InSight fired its retro rockets to slow down.

Off to the side of the solar system we go, using the Hubble Space Telescope to check out what's new with Uranus and Neptune , Like Earth, these icy planets have seasons, but they span just a few months. On Neptune, a storm has gone dark: A vortex about 6,800 miles across the sky, along with white "companion clouds." Meanwhile over Uranus (left), the north pole is domed by a giant storm , Scientists ascribe the strange weather on Uranus to the planet's rotation, since it's tilted almost all the way on one side.

The ALMA compound in Chile has long been capturing planets on the brink of formation, but now the European Southern Observatory's telescope has taken a photo of a multistar system called AS 205. It is a binary system , the gravity of each interacting with the other and the evidence of their tug-of-war behind. Search systems are not out of the ordinary, according to astronomers; the key issue is that their duality affected how planets are formed.

Are you star-struck? This composite photo of the Triangulum galaxy, also known as Messier 33 or M33, uses 54 fields of view from Hubble. Scientists' measures identify 25 million people spread out, from left to right, over a distance of about 1

4,500 light years. M33 is a spiral galaxy, like our own Milky Way, so astronomers study both of these spiral galaxies as a proxy for our own.


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