Fifteen years imaging the Red Planet

On 25 December 2003, ESA’s Mars Express entered orbit around the Red Planet. The spacecraft began returning the first images from orbit using its High Resolution Stereo Camera just a couple of weeks later, and over the course of its fifteen year history has captured thousands of images covering the globe.

This video compilation highlights some of the stunning scenes revealed by this long-lived mission. From breathtaking horizon-to-horizon views to the close-up details of ice- and dune-filled craters, and from the polar ice caps and water-carved valleys to ancient volcanoes and plunging canyons, Mars Express has traced billions of years of geological history and evolution.

For regular news and image releases from Mars Express see http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express

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Fly over Neukum crater

This movie, based on images taken by ESA’s Mars Express, showcases the 102 km wide Neukum Crater in the southern hemisphere of Mars.

The crater is named for the German physicist and planetary scientist, Gerhard Neukum, one of the founders of ESA’s Mars Express mission who inspired and led the development of the high-resolution stereo camera on Mars Express.

This complex impact crater has a diverse geologic history, as indicated by various features on the crater rim and floor. Particularly striking are the dark dune fields, likely made up of volcanic material blown in and shaped by strong winds.

The crater’s shallow interior has been infilled by sediments over its history. It is also marked with two irregular depressions that may be a sign of a weaker material that has since eroded away, leaving behind some islands of more resistant material.

Over time the crater rim has undergone varying degrees of collapse, with landslides and slumped material visible in the crater walls. Many smaller craters have also overprinted the rim and pockmarked the interior since Neukum Crater was formed, highlighting its long history.

Neukum Crater is situated in Noachis Terra, one of the oldest known regions on Mars, dating back to at least 3.9 billion years.

Credits: Animation: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO; Music: Coldnoise, CC BY-SA 4.0 and Adrian Neesemann

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Phobos and Saturn

These observations of Phobos and Saturn were taken by the Super Resolution Channel of the High Resolution Stereo Camera on Mars Express. The video comprises 30 separate images acquired during Mars Express orbit 16 346 on 26 November 2016. The slight up and down movement of Saturn and Phobos in these images is caused by the oscillation of the spacecraft’s orientation after completing the turn towards the moon. Phobos can be seen in the foreground, partially illuminated, with Saturn visible as a small ringed dot in the distance.
For more information go to http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Mars_Express/Mars_Express_views_moons_set_against_Saturn_s_rings

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