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Planetary Picture of the Day - Week of February 5, 2024

Planetary Picture of the Day - Week of February 5, 2024


Planetary Picture of the Day
Week of February 5, 2024

Welcome to our weekly recap of our Planetary Picture of the Day (PPOD)!
Jupiter's moon Io, Earth's atmospheric glow, the poles of Mars, and a farewell picture of Ingenuity.


Monday, February 5, 2024

image of the beige moon Io with a solar shadow
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Ted Stryk

New Image of Io!
This amazing new image is Jupiter's moon Io as taken by the JunoCam onboard NASA's Juno spacecraft on February 3, 2024! The night side can be seen due to reflected light from Jupiter.


Tuesday, February 6, 2024

cap of white snow on top of the orange surface of mars
Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/J. Cowart

Martian North Pole
The ice at the north pole of Mars is seen from orbit in this image captured by ESA's Mars Express in May 2014.


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Martian textured surface with black spots
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Martian South Pole
This exquisite image is from the HiRISE camera onboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and shows polar dunes in the southern hemisphere of Mars.

When spring comes and temperatures go up, the CO2 ice trapped underneath the sand melts and creates what are known as slope streaks. Sometimes, sublimation will also create jets of CO2 gas. What you see is the result of darker sand surfaces exposed by these processes.

No trees or bushes on Mars. They would not survive on the surface exposed to the harsh UV light or the -120C temperatures, and more importantly, Mars never had enough energy or resources to develop advanced life, like trees. Trees on Earth only started to appear during the Devonian period, between 350-420 million years ago. They are a somewhat late addition to our biosphere. In the best-case scenario, life on Mars, if it ever developed, will be microbial and underground.


Thursday, February 8, 2024

glow on the surface of Earth
Credit: NASA, ESA/Andreas Mogensen

Earth’s Atmospheric Glow
This high-exposure photograph revealed Earth's atmospheric glow against the backdrop of a starry sky in this image taken from the International Space Station on Jan. 21, 2024. At the time, the orbital lab was 258 miles above the Pacific Ocean northeast of Papua New Guinea. The Nauka science module and Prichal docking module are visible at left.


Friday, February 9, 2024

rocky surface of Mars with Ingenuity off in the distance
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/Jason Major

Farewell, Ingenuity
NASA's Perseverance rover took this picture of the Ingenuity drone perched on a sand dune, its final resting place after 72 amazing flights. Damage to the rotors has grounded the little companion. So long, little friend. You made everyone proud.


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