The best images of Mars in half a century of exploration | Digital Trends Spanish


Humanity seems to be getting closer and closer to laying the groundwork for what could be the first manned mission to Mars, supported by the three historic missions of 2021. But the red planet still hides mysteries, as evidenced by the best images of Mars captured during half a century of exploration.

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Endurance Crater Dunes

NASA / JPL / Cornell

Captured on August 6, 2004 by the Opportunity rover, this photograph shows the dune field of Endurance Crater in all its glory. With a marked blue tint from the mineral hematite, it is evident how the ridges of the dunes have accumulated more dust than the flanks and flat surfaces.

The maiden flight

The first color photograph of the Ingenuity helicopter flight.
JPL-Caltech / NASA

On April 19, 2021, the Ingenuity helicopter became the first landcraft to fly in the atmosphere of another planet, a milestone that has been compared to the feat of the Wright brothers in the 1920s. A week later it was He soared to 16 feet (5 meters) and starred in his fastest flight, which was witnessed in his first color photograph.

Day and night on Mars

The Hope mission transformed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) into one of the main players in the special race. Its first image, captured on February 10, 2021, showed Mars as we have rarely seen it. At an altitude of 24,700 kilometers (15,350 miles), the probe captured the Martian day and night, revealing Olympus Mons and the Valles Marineris canyon system, among other details.

Martian blueberries

Martian blueberries
These marcians spherules are located near the crater Fram. The image shows an area just 3 centimeters wide and was captured by Opportunity’s microscopic imager. These are examples of concretions rich in hematite, the mineral form of ferric oxide, which have been nicknamed “blueberries.”

Home Plate

Home Plate on Mars
NASA / JPL-Caltech / Cornell

The Spirit rover surveyed spectacular rocks in the Home Plate plateau layers, traversing the north and east sides. Before leaving it in March 2006, he took this image showing some of the most complex layer patterns seen at this location so far.

The Marineris mosaic

The Mariners mosaic
JPL-Caltech / NASA

This impressive perspective of the Marineris Valley was captured on July 9, 2013 by the Viking Orbiter probe. However, the most surprising thing is that it is not actually just an image, but rather a mosaic of 102 photographs captured by the orbiter. With an extension of 2,000 kilometers and eight kilometers deep, Valle Marineris the largest canyon in the Solar System of which there is record.

A martian dragon

Melas Chasma Dragon
NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona

An unusual pattern resembling a dragon was captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on July 4, 2007 at Melas Chasma, one of the canyons that make up the gigantic Valles Marineris system. The area is mostly covered with material that could be volcanic ash, which has been blown away by Martian winds.

Selfie on Mount Sharp

Curiosity selfie on Mount Sharp on Mars
JPL-Caltech / MSSS / NASA

This selfie from NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the rover at the Quela drill site in the Murray Buttes area at the foot of Mount Sharp. On the left side of the rover the M12 table appears in dark tone, while on the right side is the Monte Sharp.

Ice on mars

Ice on the Korolev volcano
ESA / DLR / FU Berlin

This image captured in December 2019 by the European Mars Express probe shows what appears to be a large patch of fresh, untrodden snow. It is the Korolev crater, a 82-kilometer-wide formation located near the Martian north pole and which houses an ice mound about 1.8 kilometers thick.

Nili Patera dune field

The Nili Patera dune field of Mars
NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona

This image captured in February 2019 shows Nili Patera, one of the most active dune fields on Mars. They have an elongated crescent shape, known as “barchan dunes”. Its formation is explained by the continuous action of the wind, which blows in the same direction, giving it this particular shape.

The first photograph

The photograph captured on July 20, 1976 by the Viking 1 lander was humanity’s first close-up of the surface of Mars. The image shows rocks and grainy material, such as sand or dust, from the Chryse Planitia Plain sector.

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