Hubble's Close Encounter with Mars
Date: 27 August 2003
Copyright: NASA, J. Bell (Cornell U.) and M. Wolff (SSI)
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took this close-up of the red planet Mars when it was just 34,648,840 miles (55,760,220 km) away. This color image was assembled from a series of exposures taken between 6:20 p.m. and 7:12 p.m. EDT Aug. 26 with Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The picture was taken just 11 hours before the planet made its closest approach to Earth in 60,000 years.
Many small, dark, circular impact craters can be seen, attesting to the Hubble telescope's ability to reveal fine detail on the planet's surface. One of the most striking is the 270-mile- (450-km-) diameter Huygens crater, seen near the center of the image.
Last Update: 1 September 2019