Flight over Mars: Images from the NASA/JPL Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft

The now legendary NASA/JPL Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), orbiting Mars since March 10, 2006, is still active and continuing its scientific activities.

In July, the probe delighted us with many images, but you and I will pay attention only to three areas of Mars that not only look great, but also provide an opportunity to better understand the nature of the neighboring planet.

An avalanche-shaped ledge at the North Pole of Mars

Now before you is an unusual ledge located at the North Pole of Mars, where it is currently relatively warm. Avalanches occur there as a result of the daytime rise in temperature! Of course, they are not as powerful as on Earth, and are largely composed of dry ice mixed with a small amount of water ice.

North Pole of Mars

NASA / JPL / University of Arizona

You can see a fresher, in places bluish layer that lies on top of the dusty, sandy snow. This area proves that Mars is a very changeable world.

Northwest Barchans on the Plains of Hellas

The Hellas Plateau is a rounded flat lowland originating from a shock wave that is located in the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet. Here is the planet’s deepest lowland, 7 kilometers deeper than the average Martian level.

The Northwest Dunes of the Plains of Hellas

NASA / JPL / University of Arizona

The mysterious dunes presented to your attention will help you determine the prevailing wind direction in this region. In addition, various channels can be seen near the dunes, which indicate the presence of liquid water here in the distant past.

All images were taken from an altitude of ~254-317 kilometers above the surface.