Subscribe to receive SETI Institute news weekly in your inbox.

Planetary Picture of the Day - Week of June 14, 2021

Planetary Picture of the Day - Week of June 14, 2021

Planetary Picture of the Day - Week 13


Planetary Picture of the Day

Week of June 14, 2021

Welcome to our weekly recap of our Planetary Picture of the Day (PPOD)!
Fantastic planetary surfaces, a moon that looks like food, and a sunrise like no other.


Monday, June 14, 2021

Mars' Polar Layers
Source: HiRISE, Credit: NASA / JPL / University of Arizona Written by: Shane Byrne

Stunning Mars northern polar layers
MRO spacecraft height - 318.1 km (197.7 miles).

The layered deposits at the North Pole are a 3 km thick pile of powdery water ice sheets that are about 1000 km in diameter. The layers record information about the climate dating back a few million years in Martian history.

In many places, erosion has created scarps and channels that expose these layers. The tan colored layers are the dusty water ice of the layered polar deposits; however, a section of bluish layers are visible below them. These bluish layers contain fragments of rock the size of sand that probably formed a large field of polar dunes before the dusty ice that covered it was deposited.

The lack of a polar ice cap in this bygone era attests to the variability of the Martian climate, which undergoes greater changes over time than Earth's.


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Partial Solar Eclipse from Nahant Beach
From Babak A. Tafreshi, via The World at Night - TWAN

The partial solar eclipse from Nahant Beach in Massachusetts on June 10, 2021
A sunrise like no other. This morning at 5 am, near home in Boston area, I was waiting for the partially eclipsed sun to rise from a clear ocean horizon but a layer of approaching high clouds changed the plan. Soon they acted as a natural filter and the view was spectacular through the telephoto lens but not to the naked eyes due to diffusing effect of clouds.


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Jupiter by Juno
Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS. Image processing by Kevin M. Gill

Jupiter by Juno
NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured this stunningly detailed look at a cyclonic storm in Jupiter’s atmosphere. The vortex seen here is roughly 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) wide. Jupiter is composed mostly of hydrogen and helium, but some of the color in its clouds may come from plumes of sulfur and phosphorus-containing gases rising from the planet's warmer interior. Citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill created this image using data from the spacecraft's JunoCam imager. It was taken on Nov. 3, 2019, at 2:08 p.m. PST (5:08 p.m. EST). At the time, the spacecraft was about 5,300 miles (8,500 kilometers) from Jupiter’s cloud tops above a latitude of about 49 degrees.


Thursday, June 17, 2021

Nile delta from Space
Credit: ESA/NASA–T. Pesquet

The Nile delta from space
"The world is vast but some areas are immediately recognisable, such as the Nile valley and its delta."


Friday, June 18, 2021

Pan, imaged by Cassini
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Ian Regan

Pan, imaged by Cassini
Saturn’s tiny moon Pan, which orbits inside the Encke Gap of Saturn’s rings. A thin “skirt” or ridge of material surrounds the moon’s equator, giving it a “ravioli” or “dumpling” appearance.


Recent Articles