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Planetary Picture of the Day - Week of August 14, 2023

Planetary Picture of the Day - Week of August 14, 2023

Collage of the planetary pictures of the week.

Planetary Picture of the Day
Week of August 14, 2023

Welcome to our weekly recap of our Planetary Picture of the Day (PPOD)!
Mud cracks on Mars, a close-up of Enceladus' surface, and a crescent Earth.


Monday, August 14, 2023

Image of an orange dry muddy surface of Mars
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/IRAP

Martian Mud Cracks
NASA's Curiosity rover has discovered patterns of hexagon-shaped cracks in ancient rocks that add to the evidence for a sustained warm climate. They resemble patterns found on Earth in places like Death Valley, where they only form after years of wet-dry cycling, and point to conditions favorable for life.


Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Image of the oranged ringed nebula against a black background.
Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, and the Webb ERO Production Team

Webb's Southern Ring Nebula
Cataloged as NGC 3132, the Southern Ring Nebula is a planetary nebula -- the death shroud of a dying sun-like star some 2,500 light-years from Earth. Composed of gas and dust the stunning cosmic landscape is nearly half a light-year in diameter, explored in unprecedented detail by the JWST.

In this NIRCam image, the bright star near the center is a companion of the dying star. In mutual orbit, the star whose transformation has ejected the nebula's gas and dust shells over thousands of years is the fainter stellar partner. Evolving to become a white dwarf, the faint star appears along the diffraction spike extending toward the 8 o'clock position. This stellar pair's orbital motion has resulted in the complex structures within the Southern Ring Nebula.


Wednesday, August 16, 2023

close-up image of Enceladus' rocky gray surface
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI and Cassini Imaging Team

Enceladus Close-Up
This surface image was taken with Cassini's narrow-angle camera during a very close flyby of Enceladus on Aug. 11, 2008. Cairo Sulcus is shown crossing the upper left portion of the image. An unnamed fracture curves around the lower right corner. This view shows an area about 20 kilometers across.


Thursday, August 17, 2023

Image of the Earth peeking through the horizon of the Moon
Credit: NASA
Processing: J. Major

Crescent Earth
This view of a crescent Earth as seen beyond the limb of the Moon was captured from inside the Apollo 16 CSM "Casper" in lunar orbit on April 24, 1972. This version is cropped and processed from NASA image # AS16-122-19564.


Friday, August 18, 2023

Close up image of Saturn and its yellow rings with the planet casting a shadow on them
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/CICLOPS/Kevin M. Gill

In the Shadow of Saturn
Enjoy NASA's Cassini spacecraft's view of Saturn's backlit rings and the ring-shine on the planet, taken back in September 2010.



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