You’ll want to see NASA’s latest photos of Mars

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been taking high-resolution photographs for 10 years now. This month, it has sent back 1,000 pictures because Mars has recently experienced a “golden hour” when it is perfectly lit. 

The sun was shining directly on Mars’ equator, allowing the orbiter to take pictures of the entire planet, when ordinarily, part of it is in shadow. This also happens to be a period when Mars is directly located between the sun and the Earth, which allowed scientists to download data from the orbiter more efficiently. 

You can see them all here. My favorite, though, is this one of the gullies on the surface of the planet. 

[Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona]ES