The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been continuously taking images of Mars since its launch in 2005, with its latest dispatch this month containing an astounding 1,035 images.
While the MRO sends back photos every month, but this month is special as every 26 months the geometry of the planets offers a sweet spot for data return. As Mars is currently at opposition, or the Sun and Mars are on opposite sides of Earth’s sky, there is no obstruction of communications between the planets for a few weeks.
While taking these images, MRO is also informing scientists of the best possible future landing sites for landers such as ExoMars, InSight, and other NASA rovers. The orbiter is also keeping an eye out on the active processes occurring on the planet’s surface such as sand dunes, new impact events, and slope flows.
The entire collection can be found on the HiRISE, High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera, website, but here are some of Astronomy’s favorites.
Source: Popular Science