Hubble’s New View of Mars and Planets

The Hubble Space Telescope just
captured this new image of Mars in May 2016 as Earth and Mars
approached opposition, when both planets are on the same side of
the Sun. The weeks surrounding Mars opposition are a great
opportunity to look at Mars in the night sky. The Hubble Space
Telescope may not be the first thing you think of when you look
at Mars. Hubble is more well-known for its picturesque
views of nebulae and galaxies outside our solar system, but
it’s also quite useful for studying our own planets. The
Hubble Space Telescope has observed plumes of water vapor
from Jupiter’s moon Europa, discovered four of the five
moons orbiting Pluto, and has discovered numerous icy Kuiper
Belt Objects in the far reaches of our solar system.
Additionally, the telescope has a program to observe the
atmospheres of our four gas giants – Jupiter, Saturn,
Uranus, and Neptune. Plus, Hubble not only studies our own
planets, it also collects data from planets orbiting other
stars. Exoplanets! So the next time you go out and look at the
night sky, just remember, Hubble’s got you covered for the
solar system and beyond.


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