MARS, SATURN, AND BEYOND
The High Resolution Images (HiRISE) aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured these images of Deimos, the smaller of the two moons of Mars, on February 21, 2009. Color-enhanced, these views were taken five and a half hours apart. The smoothest areas are the reddest, while areas around fresh impact craters and along ridges are much lighter in color.
Images courtesy of NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory-Caltech/University of Arizona
The Hubble Space Telescope captured this view of Saturn on February 24, 2009. Four of its moons (Titan, Mimas, Dione, and Enceladus) can be seen passing in front of the ringed planet. This particular type of passing, or "transit," is rare. It can only occur when the tilt of Saturn's ring plane in nearly "edge on" as seen from Earth.
Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScl/AURA)
Kepler, NASA's latest space telescope, launched on March 6, 2009. Capable of detecting objects Earth-size and smaller, it will search distant stars for planets similar to our own.
Kepler will focus specifically on finding Earth-like planets within a solar system's "habitable zone." Determined by the distance to its star, this zone maintains a temperature range that allows liquid water to exist on a planet's surface.
Artist's concept courtesy of NASA
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