January 13, 2014
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington is exhibiting a decade of the photos taken by remote exploration by the two robotic rovers – Opportunity and Spirit. One of the mission’s main scientific goals was to search for and study a wide range of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity on Mars. To do this, the rovers landed on opposite sides of Mars in locations that appear to have been affected by liquid water in the past.
This HiRISE (one of six instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) image of an east-facing slope in Tithonium Chasma was taken to follow up an earlier Context Camera image that seemed to show sediment layers of near-uniform thickness.
NASA,Tithonium Chasma, Mars
We see Mars through the frame of our own imagined landscapes for the picture that results from earthbound scientists polishing up raw pixels beamed back by robot rovers is shaped by pictorial and aesthetic convention just like any landscape art is.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Texas A&M/Cornell, dunes at Endurance crater, Mars
The pictures of the dusty orange Martian desert resemble vistas in New Mexico or Arizona or the Australian outback.