Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

April 7, 1998

Return To Cydonia
Credit: Mars Global Surveyor Project, NASA

Explanation: Yesterday the Mars Global Surveyor project released this close-up image of a portion of the Cydonia region on Mars. It is about 2.6 miles wide (the full version is nearly 50 miles long) and at full resolution shows details about 13 feet across. Left of center is the famous feature seen as the "Face on Mars" in 1976 Viking orbiter images. Such complex looking landforms in the Cydonia region are thought to be the result of erosion and weathering of ancient crust by Martian winds, frost, and possibly surface water. Mars Global Surveyor is scheduled to take other images of the Cydonia region and the Mars Pathfinder and Viking landing sites this month.

Tomorrow's picture: Older Than Stonehenge

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.