For the last four years, the UA's Lunar and Planetary Lab's HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been snapping photos from high above our neighboring planet. Nearly every week, a new batch of photos is released on the Web for public viewing—and they're absolutely astonishing. From the edges of craters to dunes on the Arctic plains, the snapshots offer breathtaking images of Mars that have been used to help researchers understand the planet's geology, plot future missions and delight those of us who dig space exploration. Kudos to UA professor Alfred McEwen and his crew for what they've done—and for recently winning the chance to build a new camera for the upcoming ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, which is set to launch in 2016. We can't wait to see what it sends back.
© 2020 Tucson Weekly