The Red Planet shows some blue

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You may think of Mars as “the Red Planet.” But if you paint a picture of it, you might want to add a splotch of blue! That’s because a new image of a crater on Mars reveals a beautiful blue substance spread over the planet’s dusty surface.

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft captured the crater photo with its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. Veronica Bray, a HiRISE team member and associate staff scientist at the University of Arizona, told the blue areas of the crater might be exposed ice. But ultimately, Bray and other scientists aren’t sure what it is.

Hundreds of space rocks create craters on Mars every year. But this one is remarkable not only because of its color, but also its size. The crater is estimated 49 to 53 feet across, and the meteor that caused it likely measured 5 feet wide.

Many space rocks that size break up in the Martian atmosphere. Thankfully, this one didn’t. If it had, we wouldn’t have discovered this amazing anomaly. Who knows what scientists will discover about this blue mystery on the Red Planet?

Interested in more space stories like this? Catch a show in LSC’s Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, the biggest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere. Our all-live show, “Wonders of the Night Sky,” always sets aside a portion for LSC Space News Now stories.

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