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Exposed ice in a fresh crater

Hydrated minerals at Stokes Crater

Bright exposures of chloride salt on southern Mars

Dunes on floor of Samara Valles, Mars

Deposits on the floor of Palos Crater

Dust-mantled topography near Zephyria Tholus

Lobate Debris Apron in Deuteronilus Mensae

Intra-Crater Structure in NW Hellas Basin, Mars

Polygonal ridgex in Gordii Dorsum Region, Mars

Northern hemisphere gullies on West-Facing Crater Slope, Mars

A gem of a find

North polar cap cross section

'Opportunity' at Crater's Cape Verde

Sand dunes and ripples in Proctor Crater, Mars

Proctor Crater

Dunes and inverted crater in Arabia Terra

Mars moon in color and 3D

First observation of columnar jointing on Mars

Dust-devil tracks in Southern Schiaparelli Basin

Bright exposures of chloride salts

Spirit's winter home

Clay at Nili Fossae

The HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has photographed a multitude of locations on Mars' surface in stunning detail with a telescopic lens.

Part of a mission to search for evidence of water and ice present in the planet's geologic history, the visible-light camera is also capable of capturing images in near-infrared wavelengths, allowing scientists observe mineral groups, layered materials, gullies, and channels from an altitude of just a few hundred miles.

Here, a bright blue material in this false-color image of a fresh crater about 20 feet in diameter in a mid-latitude area of northern Mars shows what scientists believe is subsurface ice exposed by the impact that excavated the crater.

Earlier this month, NASA released hundreds of new images from the mission.

The information in all of the 22 captions in this slideshow comes directly from NASA.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
In the area known as the northern lowlands, which cover nearly half of the planet, this image of the Stokes Crater shows hydrated minerals detected from orbit.

Evidence of three types of hydrated minerals, including phyllosilicates, and nearby exposures of two volcanic minerals pyroxene and olivine unaltered by water have been interpreted as evidence that nearly 4 billion years ago Mars was home to the widespread wet conditions necessary to form the phyllosilicates and was potentially capable of producing life.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/JHU-APL/MSSS/FU-Berlin
Chloride salt minerals in the southern highlands of Mars, shown in bright blue in this false-color image from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) indicate that Mars was much wetter long ago. The low-lying deposits point to places where water was once abundant, then evaporated, leaving the minerals behind.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University/University of Hawaii
These dusty dunes sit on the floor of Samara Valles. The picture was taken March 4, 2010, by the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars orbiter. This 3,300-foot-wide image is of the upper portion of the Samara Valles, one of the longest ancient valley systems on Mars.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Near Mars' equator, this image of the Palos Crater taken March 8, 2010, shows bumpy, layered knobs, possibly created by the layering of fluvial sediments carried into the crater by waters running through the 112-mile-long Tinto Vallis.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
This white, dusty image taken by HiRISE on March 9, 2010, shows high-standing topography just outside the rim of an impact crater about 18 miles in diameter near a Martian hill named Zephyria Tholus.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
The Deuteronilus Mensae region along the highland-lowland dichotomy boundary in the northern hemisphere of Mars is marked by many mesas surrounded by lobate debris aprons.

Radar data from the Shallow Radar instrument on the Mars orbiter has shown them to be composed of nearly pure ice, formations possibly associated with rock glaciers, ice-rich mass movements, or debris-covered glacial flows resulting from activity more than 10 million years ago. The picture was taken March 9, 2010.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizon
With sweeping terrain possibly signifying volcanic activity, the Hellas Basin in southern Mars is about 1,400 miles across and is home to the lowest elevations on Mars--a good spot to survey in the search for signs of water and ice.

Hellas is one of the largest impact craters in the solar system. It is thought to be very old and may yield clues to millions of years of geologic activity.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Polygonal ridges in the Gordii Dorsum region of Mars show almost geometric patterns in this image taken April 9, 2010.

Scientists have hypothesized that the ridges may have formed through processes involving liquid water once present in the area.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Gullies and channels visible in this image taken on April 13, 2010, may have been formed by flowing water, liquid carbon dioxide, or dry granular flows.

Formations found in this west-facing side of an impact crater in the mid-latitudes of Mars' northern hemisphere are indicative of an ice-rich terrain. "Scalloped" terrain in and around the crater and the presence of parallel lines and pitted material on the crater floor may be a sign of surface caving, perhaps due to underlying ice.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Nearby this ancient, eroded crater, scientists observed layered rock, billowing sand dunes, and evidence of a pinkish-colored layer of light-toned rock that contains opal.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
The Mars orbiter's Shallow Radar (SHARAD) captured this cross-section image of the north polar ice cap on Mars.

The layers of ice shown here are more than a mile thick and 155 miles across. They offer valuable information on the geologic history of Mars and how each layer was formed through time.

Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/UT
Near the rim of Victoria Crater is the Mars rover Opportunity at Meridiani Planum near the equator of Mars, where it has been operating on Mars since January 2004.

Shown in the image are Duck Bay, the eroded segment of the crater rim where Opportunity first arrived at the crater, Cabo Frio, a sharp promontory to the south of Duck Bay, and Cape Verde, another promontory to the north.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL/UA
In this image taken by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer (CRISM) on the Mars orbiter, the Martian surface is shown in enhanced color from visible-light wavelengths showing light-toned rugged highland material in an area near the equator. The image shows an area about six miles wide.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Following studies of martial soils by the rovers on the ground, scientists know that the bright, small ridges in this image, which shows the Proctor Crater, are ripples composed of fine sand less than 200 microns in diameter.

The larger, darker bedforms are dunes composed of fine basaltic sand that is derived from dark, volcanic rock.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
"Inverted topology," such as this inverted crater in the Arabia Terra region of Mars, is found on Earth, too.

Following the initial impact of the meteor, which created this 820-foot-diameter crater, sediment filled in the crater, and then erosion stripped away the surrounding topography, leaving this inverted topography sticking up above the surrounding plains.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
A stereo color view of Phobos, the larger and inner most of Mars' two tiny moons, is seen in this image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on the Mars prbiter. The orbiter was 3,600 miles away from the 13-mile-diameter moon when the HiRISE camera took the images. At that distance, the camera was able to resolve features about 49 feet across.

"Phobos is of great interest because it may be rich in water ice and carbon-rich materials," said Alfred McEwen, HiRISE'd principal investigator at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech
Columnar jointing fracturing is evident in these layered rocks on Mars and is the result of molten lava contracting as it cools and hardens.

Similar column-forming fracture textures are common on Earth and can be found in the Colombia River Basalt Group and in the Colorado Plateau.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Vortices of wind that form when air rises from a warm surface and encounters shear in the above atmosphere have picked up the bright dust from the Martian surface, exposing the dark bedrock surface below in the southern Schiaparelli Basin.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
Evidence that this site and about 200 other sites in the southern highlands of Mars are home to deposits of chloride salts comes from observations by the Thermal Emission Imaging System on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. The salt deposits typically lie within topographic depressions, places where water was once abundant, then evaporated, leaving the minerals behind.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech
This is a portion of an image called the "McMurdo Panorama," taken by the panoramic camera on NASA's Spirit rover during its winter campaign of 2006. The view is looking toward the north at Husband Hill, the dark-toned El Dorado dune field, and the light-toned Home Plate feature. Husband Hill is about 2,800 feet from the rover's winter site. Wind-blown ripples are evident in the field in the foreground, along with vesicular basalt rock. Tracks made by Spirit as it left Home Plate are also visible.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech
This image of the Nili Fossae region of Mars was compiled from separate images taken by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) and the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), two instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The Mars Express spacecraft, OMEGA, discovered that some of the most ancient regions of Mars are rich in clay minerals, formed when water altered the planet's volcanic rocks. Clays are an indicator of wet, benign environments possibly suitable for biological processes, making Nili Fossae and comparable regions important targets for both CRISM and HiRISE.

In this visualization of the combined data from the two instruments, the CRISM data was used to calculate the strengths of spectral absorption bands due to minerals present in the scene. The two major minerals detected by the instrument are olivine, a mineral characteristic of primitive igneous rocks, and clay. Areas rich in olivine are shown in red, and minerals rich in clay are shown in green. The derived colors were then overlayed on the HiRISE image.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech
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