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Pictures | Tue Nov 20, 2018 | 3:35pm GMT

The surface of Mars

A field of barchan sand dunes appear turquoise blue on the surface of Mars in this enhanced image taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. 

NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

A field of barchan sand dunes appear turquoise blue on the surface of Mars in this enhanced image taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

A field of barchan sand dunes appear turquoise blue on the surface of Mars in this enhanced image taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
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The base of Mars' Mount Sharp in an image taken by the Curiosity rover.

REUTERS/NASA

The base of Mars' Mount Sharp in an image taken by the Curiosity rover. REUTERS/NASA

The base of Mars' Mount Sharp in an image taken by the Curiosity rover. REUTERS/NASA
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Dunes on Mars are almost free of their seasonal ice cover during early Martian summer, with pockets of ice still visible in areas protected by shade, as seen in this Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter image. 


NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Dunes on Mars are almost free of their seasonal ice cover during early Martian summer, with pockets of ice still visible in areas protected by shade, as seen in this Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter image. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Dunes on Mars are almost free of their seasonal ice cover during early Martian summer, with pockets of ice still visible in areas protected by shade, as seen in this Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter image. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
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The surface of Mars after a meteoroid hit and exploded, creating an impact crater 5 meters across that triggered a one-kilometer-long slope streak, or avalanche. Image taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.    


NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

The surface of Mars after a meteoroid hit and exploded, creating an impact crater 5 meters across that triggered a one-kilometer-long slope streak, or avalanche. Image taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of...more

The surface of Mars after a meteoroid hit and exploded, creating an impact crater 5 meters across that triggered a one-kilometer-long slope streak, or avalanche. Image taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
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A view of the Ophir Chasma on the northern portion of the vast Mars canyon system, Vallles Marineris, taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.


REUTERS/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A view of the Ophir Chasma on the northern portion of the vast Mars canyon system, Vallles Marineris, taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. REUTERS/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A view of the Ophir Chasma on the northern portion of the vast Mars canyon system, Vallles Marineris, taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. REUTERS/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
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Nili Patera, one of the most active dune fields on the planet Mars. Image taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

 
REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Nili Patera, one of the most active dune fields on the planet Mars. Image taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Nili Patera, one of the most active dune fields on the planet Mars. Image taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
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Rough spherical features in an area called Yellowknife Bay. These features are interpreted as concretions, implying they formed in water that percolated through pores in the sediment. Spherical concretions have previously been discovered in other rocks on Mars.


REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Rough spherical features in an area called Yellowknife Bay. These features are interpreted as concretions, implying they formed in water that percolated through pores in the sediment. Spherical concretions have previously been discovered in other...more

Rough spherical features in an area called Yellowknife Bay. These features are interpreted as concretions, implying they formed in water that percolated through pores in the sediment. Spherical concretions have previously been discovered in other rocks on Mars. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
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An impact crater on Mars is seen in an image taken by  NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.      


REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

An impact crater on Mars is seen in an image taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

An impact crater on Mars is seen in an image taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
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A rock outcrop called Link pops out from a Martian surface. Rounded gravel fragments, or clasts, up to a couple inches in size are in a matrix of white material. The outcrop characteristics are consistent with a sedimentary conglomerate, or a rock that was formed by the deposition of water and is composed of many smaller rounded rocks cemented together. Scientists enhanced the color in this version to show the Martian scene as it would appear under the lighting conditions we have on Earth.

REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

A rock outcrop called Link pops out from a Martian surface. Rounded gravel fragments, or clasts, up to a couple inches in size are in a matrix of white material. The outcrop characteristics are consistent with a sedimentary conglomerate, or a rock...more

A rock outcrop called Link pops out from a Martian surface. Rounded gravel fragments, or clasts, up to a couple inches in size are in a matrix of white material. The outcrop characteristics are consistent with a sedimentary conglomerate, or a rock that was formed by the deposition of water and is composed of many smaller rounded rocks cemented together. Scientists enhanced the color in this version to show the Martian scene as it would appear under the lighting conditions we have on Earth. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
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The northern-most sand dunes are seen as they begin to emerge from their winter cover of seasonal carbon dioxide (dry) ice.


REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

The northern-most sand dunes are seen as they begin to emerge from their winter cover of seasonal carbon dioxide (dry) ice. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

The northern-most sand dunes are seen as they begin to emerge from their winter cover of seasonal carbon dioxide (dry) ice. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
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A location on Mars associated with the best-selling novel and Hollywood movie, "The Martian" This area is in the Acidalia Planitia region and in the novel and the movie, it is the landing site of a crewed mission named Ares 3.



REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

A location on Mars associated with the best-selling novel and Hollywood movie, "The Martian" This area is in the Acidalia Planitia region and in the novel and the movie, it is the landing site of a crewed mission named Ares...more

A location on Mars associated with the best-selling novel and Hollywood movie, "The Martian" This area is in the Acidalia Planitia region and in the novel and the movie, it is the landing site of a crewed mission named Ares 3. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
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Portions of the Martian surface showing many channels from 1 meter to 10 meters wide on a scarp in the Hellas impact basin.


REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Portions of the Martian surface showing many channels from 1 meter to 10 meters wide on a scarp in the Hellas impact basin. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Portions of the Martian surface showing many channels from 1 meter to 10 meters wide on a scarp in the Hellas impact basin. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
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A view of the Noctis Labyrinthus region of Mars, perched high on the Tharsis rise in the upper reaches of the Valles Marineris canyon system.

EUTERS/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A view of the Noctis Labyrinthus region of Mars, perched high on the Tharsis rise in the upper reaches of the Valles Marineris canyon system. EUTERS/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A view of the Noctis Labyrinthus region of Mars, perched high on the Tharsis rise in the upper reaches of the Valles Marineris canyon system. EUTERS/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
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The surface of the planet Mars inside Gale Crater seen from Curiosity. 

REUTERS/NASA

The surface of the planet Mars inside Gale Crater seen from Curiosity. REUTERS/NASA

The surface of the planet Mars inside Gale Crater seen from Curiosity. REUTERS/NASA
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Curiosity appears as a bluish dot near the lower right corner of this enhanced-color view from Orbiter.


REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Curiosity appears as a bluish dot near the lower right corner of this enhanced-color view from Orbiter. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Curiosity appears as a bluish dot near the lower right corner of this enhanced-color view from Orbiter. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
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Part of the wall of Gale Crater. Here, a network of valleys believed to have formed by water erosion enters Gale Crater from the outside.


REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Part of the wall of Gale Crater. Here, a network of valleys believed to have formed by water erosion enters Gale Crater from the outside. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Part of the wall of Gale Crater. Here, a network of valleys believed to have formed by water erosion enters Gale Crater from the outside. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
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Inclined layering known as cross-bedding in an outcrop called Shaler on a scale of a few tenths of a meter.


REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Inclined layering known as cross-bedding in an outcrop called Shaler on a scale of a few tenths of a meter. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Inclined layering known as cross-bedding in an outcrop called Shaler on a scale of a few tenths of a meter. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
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Two trenches dug by Phoenix's Robotic Arm.

REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Two trenches dug by Phoenix's Robotic Arm. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Two trenches dug by Phoenix's Robotic Arm. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
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Mars' Victoria Crater at Meridiani Planum.


REUTERS/NASA/JPL/Caltech

Mars' Victoria Crater at Meridiani Planum. REUTERS/NASA/JPL/Caltech

Mars' Victoria Crater at Meridiani Planum. REUTERS/NASA/JPL/Caltech
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An iron meteorite on Mars in an image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.


REUTERS/NASA/JPL/Cornell

An iron meteorite on Mars in an image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. REUTERS/NASA/JPL/Cornell

An iron meteorite on Mars in an image taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. REUTERS/NASA/JPL/Cornell
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This image, cropped from a larger panoramic image mosaic taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit panoramic camera shows the rover's destination toward the hills nicknamed the Columbia Hills.

REUTERS/NASA/JPLCornell

This image, cropped from a larger panoramic image mosaic taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit panoramic camera shows the rover's destination toward the hills nicknamed the Columbia Hills. REUTERS/NASA/JPLCornell

This image, cropped from a larger panoramic image mosaic taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit panoramic camera shows the rover's destination toward the hills nicknamed the Columbia Hills. REUTERS/NASA/JPLCornell
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