the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment -
rides on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
just arrived in Mars orbit on March 10.
This sharp view of
surface from the HiRISE camera includes
data with a full resolution of about 2.5 meters per pixel -
recorded from a range of 2,500 kilometers.
In the coming months,
MRO's orbit will be circularized
through repeated passages into Mars' outer atmosphere,
a process known
as aerobraking, shrinking its orbit
to an altitude of only 280 kilometers.
At that distance, the HiRISE experiment should be able
to image the
Red Planet's surface at a resolution of
28 centimeters (11 inches) per pixel.
In this first color image,
the false colors represent
HiRISE's visible and infrared imaging data combined.
The picture is nearly 24 kilometers wide and covers an
area in the Bosporos Planum region of southern Mars.
Lecture: APOD editor to give public talk in Princeton on April 11