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NASA revealed new images of Mars and Saturn

01 Août 2018

This time-lapse animation of Hubble observations shows the rotation of Saturn and zooms into the planet as it is rotating. The giant planet completes one rotation every 10.5 hours. Now, as Mars and Saturn swing by Earth this summer, the legendary telescope has snapped a handful of lovely imagesto add to the collection. "At most perihelic oppositions, including this one, the planet retreats to the belly of the ecliptic low in the southern sky". "It's approaching its perihelion - the closest point in its orbit to the sun".

"If these researchers are right, this is the first time we've found evidence of a large water body on Mars", said Cassie Stuurman, a geophysicist at the University of Texas who found signs of an enormous Martian ice deposit in 2016. "It's basically covering the whole planet and so Mars in the sky at the moment appears like a really, really bright orange star".

The lake, similar to those beneath the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets on Earth, lies about 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) below the surface of a region called Planum Australe, close to the Martian south pole, and stretches out for 20 kilometres. Chiefly, that Mars will actually look bigger - even the size of the moon - rather than brighter.

Just last month, a team of Northeastern students won the 2018 NASA Mars Ice Challenge by designing a robotic device that can drill beneath the thick layers of dirt and ice on Mars to tap into the liquid water underneath.

The event only happens every two or so years and will bring Mars close to the earth. The appearance of Mars can vary depending on its location relative to Earth in the solar system. Small, mid-latitude puffs of clouds are also visible.

Alongside a lovely view of the ring system, Hubble's new image reveals a hexagonal pattern around the north pole - a stable and persistent wind feature discovered during the flyby of the Voyager 1 space probe in 1981.

Moreover, it will be the "best time" to see the red planet with the naked eye or through astronomical telescopes, according to Dr Marzouk.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield said on Twitter that the discovery gets to one of the fundamental questions about existence. Is there life on Mars? However, our closest neighbor was pretty close to us for Hubble to take some astonishing pics with Mars and its two moons, Phobos and Deimos.

Even with the close approach, the planets remain over 54.6 million km apart. Now, because the Earth is close to its peak distance from the sun, it's closer to Mars.

Mars will be rising a bit earlier each night until Friday when it will be seen as early as 11:15 p.m., close to the full moon.

Saturn's portrait is the first image of the planet taken as part of the Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) project.

NASA revealed new images of Mars and Saturn