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Header: Jess Anderson in Madison Wisconsin
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Photos From Around The Solar System
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Clicking on the icon picture will get you the full-sized one from the local server (size and encoding as noted). [Loading the thumbnail images takes a few seconds.]

Mercury
{icon} The southwest quadrant of Mercury, taken March 29, 1974, by the Mariner 10 spacecraft. The largest craters are about 100 km (62 mi) in diameter. [56K jpg]

Venus
{icon} The bluish hue of Venus is a colorization effect used to enhance subtle contrasts in cloud patterns. Shows the east to west cloud banding and the brighter polar hoods. The features are embedded in winds that flow from east to west at about 370 kph (230 mph). [14K jpg]
{icon} Seven circular domes can be seen on the eastern edge of Alpha Regio. They average 25 km (15 mi) in diameter with maximum heights of 750 m (2475 ft). Some scientists believe they are the result of eruptions of thick lava that flowed from a vent on level ground, resulting in an even lateral pattern of lava. [71K jpg]
{icon} Located in the Atla Regio region of Venus is Sapas Mons. The sides of the volcano are covered with numerous overlapping lava flows. Color was artificially added to this image. [46K jpg]
{icon} A portion of the eastern edge of Alpha Regio, seen in three-dimensional perspective. The view is at the center of an area containing seven circular dome-like hills. Three of the hills are visible in the center of the image. The simulated hues are based on color images recorded by the Soviet Venera 13 and 14 spacecraft. [110K jpg]
{icon} A three-dimensional perspective of western Eistla Regio. Gula Mons, a 3 kilometer (1.86 mile) high volcano, appears on the horizon. The impact crater Cunitz, named for the astronomer and mathematician Maria Cunitz, is in the center of the image. The crater is 48.5 kilometers (30 miles) in diameter and is 215 kilometers (133 miles) from the viewer's position. [124K jpg]

Earth
{icon} The full Earth, seen from our Moon's limb, showing all of Africa. [70K jpg]
{icon} What a fantastic view, as Galileo looks back at the Earth from a distance of nealy 4 million miles! Antarctica is visible through clouds (bottom). The Moon's far side is seen; the shadowy indentation in the dawn terminator is the south-Pole/Aitken Basin, one of the largest and oldest lunar impact features. [27K jpg]
{icon} Space shuttle view of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. In Spain, to the left, the small spike of land is the Rock of Gibraltar; Africa is on the right side of the image. [40K jpg]
{icon} Space shuttle image of the Colorado River in Arizona captures the Grand Canyon. The canyon is 30 km (18 miles) across at its widest point and 1.6 km (1 mile) deep at rock bottom. It is 446 km (277 miles) long and covers an area that is over 5000 square km (about 2000 square miles). [42K jpg]

Mars
{icon} Full planetary disc. [19K jpg]
{icon} Olympus Mons is the largest volcano on Mars, 100 times larger than Mauna Loa on Earth. The radial features on the slopes of the volcano were formed by overflowing lava and debris. [47K jpg]
{icon} Nearly half of the Valles Marineris canyon system is visible. The entire system extends over 4000 km (2490 mi), covering about one fifth the circumference of Mars. Some parts of the canyon run as deep as 7 km (4 mi) and as wide as 200 km (125 mi). Compared to Valles Marineris, the Grand Canyon on Earth seems quite small at 446 km (277 mi) long, 30 km (18 mi) wide and 1.6 km (1 mi) deep. [27K jpg]
{icon} The large rock just left of center is about 2 m (7 ft) wide. The red color of the rocks and soil is due to an abundance of oxidized iron in the eroded material. [27K jpg]
{icon} [35K jpg] The clearest picture ever taken from Earth, surpassed only by visiting space probes. Morning clouds appear along the planet's western (left) limb. Towering 16 miles (25 km) above the surrounding plains, volcano Ascraeus Mons pokes above the cloud deck near the western limb. Seasonal winds carry dust to form striking linear features reminiscent of the legendary martian "canals." [35K jpg]
{icon} Two Hubble Space Telescope images of Mars, taken about a month apart on September 18 and October 15, 1996, reveal a state-sized dust storm churning near the edge of the Martian north polar cap. Mars is famous for large, planet-wide dust storms. This kind of advanced planetary "weather report" will be invaluable for aiding preparation for the landing of NASA's Pathfinder spacecraft in July 1997 and the arrival of Mars Global Surveyor orbiter in September 1997. [63K jpg]
{icon} During the Mariner 9 mission, scientists found an unusual rectilinear structure associated with the south polar pitted terrain which they dubbed the "Inca City." Located near -80 degrees latitude and 64 degrees longitude, it is likely the result of wind deflation of deposits from underlying rough terrain. The "cells" in the image are about 4-5 kilometers in width. [52K jpg]

Saturn
{icon} These four images take us progressively closer. [13K jpg]
{icon} The bright region behind the rings is a rare, massive storm, large enough to swallow Earth. High altitude winds give the storm a distinctive arrowhead shape. [22K jpg]
{icon} Two moons are visible, lower left. [11K jpg]
{icon} Closer yet. [22K jpg]
{icon} Possible variations in chemical composition from one part of Saturn's ring system to another are shown in this Voyager 2 picture. This highly enhanced color view was assembled from clear, orange and ultraviolet frames obtained from a distance of 8.9 million kilometers (5.5 million miles). [130K jpg]
{icon} Large bright streaks cross the face of Saturn's moon Dione in this 1980 Voyager photograph, taken from a distance of 695,000 kilometers (417,000 miles). Higher resolution views some of these streaks to be grooves that may be fracturing in the satellite's surface. [64K jpg]
{icon} Saturn's satellite, Rhea, taken by Voyager 1 at a distance of 1.3 million kilometers (808,000 miles). Rhea's surface is mostly ice and presents an almost uniformly white appearance. Scientists believe the bright streaks crossing Rhea's face may be caused by fresh ice ejected from beneath the satellite's surface. [56K jpg]

Jupiter
{icon} Jupiter's diameter is 11 times Earth's diameter and 20% larger than Saturn's, making it the largest planet in the solar system. This color-enhanced image of Jupiter was taken by Voyager 1. [22K jpg]
{icon} The full disc. [35K jpg]
{icon} Close view, many cloud details. [26K jpg]
{icon} Aurorae of Jupiter arising from charged particles emitted by volcanic activity on Jupiter's moon Io. Also shown: Jupiter's magnetic field is offset from the axis of its spin by 10-15 degrees. [26K jpg]
{icon} Jupiter's volcanic moon Io, passing above the turbulent clouds of the giant planet, on July 24, 1996. The conspicuous black spot on Jupiter is Io's shadow, which sweeps across the face of Jupiter at 17 kilometers per second (38,000 miles per hour). The smallest details visible on Io and Jupiter are about 100 miles across. Bright patches visible on Io are regions of sulfur dioxide frost. Io is roughly the size of Earth's moon, but 2,000 times farther away. [38K jpg]
{icon} Jupiter's moon Europa, the size of our moon, is thought to have a crust of ice perhaps 100 kilometers thick overlying the silicate crust. The complex array of streaks indicate that the crust has been fractured and filled by materials from the interior. In contrast to its icy neighbors Ganymede and Callisto, Europa has very few impact craters. The relative absence of features and low topography suggests the crust is young and warm a few kilometers below the surface. [134K jpg]
{icon} Jupiter and its four planet-size moons, called the Galilean satellites, were photographed in March, 1979 by Voyager 1 and assembled into this collage. They are not to scale but are in their relative positions. Reddish Io (upper left) is nearest Jupiter; then Europa (center); Ganymede and Callisto (lower right). Nine other much smaller satellites circle Jupiter, one inside Io's orbit and the others millions of miles from the planet. [77K jpg]

Neptune
{icon} In August 1989, Voyager 2 captured this image, which shows two of the four oval cloud features tracked by the cameras. The large dark oval near the left edge revolves around Neptune every 18 hours. The bright clouds immediately to the south and east of this oval substantially change their appearance in periods as short as 4 hours. [14K jpg]
{icon} Another Voyager 2 image, shortly before its closest approach to the planet. The smallest structures are on the order of 50 kilometers (31 miles). The image shows feathery white clouds that overlie the boundary of the dark and light blue regions. The spiral structure of both the dark boundary and the white cirrus suggests a storm system rotating counterclockwise. Periodic small-scale patterns in the white cloud, possibly waves, are short-lived and do not persist from one Neptunian rotation to the next. [80K jpg]
{icon} Two Hubble images blend information from different wavelengths to bring out features of Neptune's blustery weather. The predominant blue color of the planet is a result of the absorption of red and infrared light by Neptune's methane atmosphere. Clouds elevated above most of the methane absorption appear white, while the very highest clouds tend to be yellow-red as seen in the bright feature at the top of the right-hand image. Neptune's powerful equatorial jet -- where winds blow at nearly 900 mph -- is centered on the dark blue belt just south of Neptune's equator. Farther south, the green belt indicates a region where the atmosphere absorbs blue light. The observation team was directed by Lawrence Sromovsky of the UW-Madison. [80K jpg]
{icon} The pink hue of Neptune's largest moon, Triton, is thought to result from a slowly evaporating layer of nitrogen ice. Triton's orbit is highly tilted to the plane of Neptune's equator, and retrograde. Scientists to believe Triton formed independently of Neptune and was later captured by Neptune's gravity. [19K jpg]
{icon} A comprehensive view of the Neptune-facing hemisphere of Triton. The large south polar cap at the bottom of the image is highly reflective and slightly pink; it may consist of a slowly evaporating layer of nitrogen ice deposited during the previous winter. From the ragged edge of the polar cap northward the satellite's face is generally darker and redder in color. This coloring may be produced by the action of ultraviolet light and magnetospheric radiation upon methane in the atmosphere and surface. [165K jpg]
{icon} A computer-generated perspective rendering of one of the caldera-like depressions on Triton, as it would appear if viewed from the northeast. The topography was vertically exaggerated 20 times. Actual relief in the region has a maximum range of about 1 km (3,000 feet) in the 13 km (8-mile) diameter impact crater visible in the center of the image. The caldera floor, approximately 200 km (120 miles) in diameter, is extremely flat and probably was formed by the volcanic eruption of ice lavas of very low viscosity. The bench visible in the foreground may be a remnant of earlier flooding to a level about 200 meters (600 feet) higher than the present caldera floor. [97K jpg]

Uranus
{icon} The greenish color of Uranus' atmosphere is due to methane and high-altitude photochemical smog. Voyager 2 acquired this view in late January 1986. This image looks at the planet approximately along its rotational pole. [17K jpg]

Pluto
{icon} Taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows a rare image of tiny Pluto with its moon Charon, 1440 and 790 miles in diameter, respectively. Pluto's surface is believed to reach temperatures as low as -240C (-400F). From Pluto's surface, the sun appears as only a very bright star. [20K jpg]
{icon} A quite different view of the planet and its moon. Observations show that Charon is bluer than Pluto. This means that both worlds have different surface composition and structure. A bright highlight on Pluto suggests it has a smoothly reflecting surface layer. [11K jpg]

End of Page


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