Planet Mars from 5.5 million kilometres
3 December 2003
This picture shows planet Mars as seen from a distance of about 5.5 million kilometres. This is a very unusual view of Mars because the planet is illuminated in a way never seen from Earth. The Sun shines on part of the western hemisphere, but more than a third of the Martian disc lies in the dark. The dark features at the top are part of the northern lowlands of Mars, where oceans possibly existed thousands of millions of years ago.