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Publication: Epic new book reveals previously unseen photographs of the surface of Mars

Posted by Liv Siddall,
Thursday 03 October 2013

Everyone’s talking about going to visit Mars now that the option is now sort of available. To be honest, there are actually some people I would happily wave off as they careered off to an uninhabitable planet that can be up to 250 million miles away. For those of us who prefer a simple life on watery, flowery earth, here is a truly exciting book to be released this year by Aperture.

The coffee-table-groaning publication is made up of astounding and previously unseen photographs of the surface of Mars. Cosy it is not, but epic, cratered and cracked it is. The surface is like monochrome close-up of a Dominos pizza, round, fiery and has been on fire for the majority of it’s life. As well as the jaw-dropping imagery that reside on its glossy pages, the design of This is Mars has been impeccably thought out by Xavier Barral. “Conceived as a visual atlas, the book takes the reader on a fantastic voyage — plummeting into the breathtaking depths of the Velles Marineris canyons; floating over the black dunes of Noachis Terra; and soaring to the highest peak in our solar system, the Olympus Mons volcano. The search for traces of water also uncovers vast stretches of carbonic ice at the planet’s poles.” See and blow your mind even more here on their site then call up NASA to pre-book your seat on the one-way rocket to the planet itself.

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Photographers around the world looked up to the sky this past weekend to capture the "supermoon." This is the phenomenon when the moon makes its closest approach to Earth, appearing 30 percent brighter and about 14 percent larger than a typical full moon. It occurs about once every 14 months and is technically called a perigee full moon. At 221,823 miles from Earth, the supermoon was a feast for the eyes.-Leanne Burden Seidel (24 photos total)
A cotton candy vendor walks in from of the moon during the Los Angeles Angels' baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, June 22 in Anaheim, Calif. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)    

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Those of you who dream of space adventures and conquering other galaxies will probably be surprised to know how immensely big our own Solar system is. The infographic here will give you an approximate idea of its enormous scale.

 

How Big Is Our Solar System?

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One of the biggest solar flares so far this year unleashed a strong geomagnetic storm Thursday that painted night skies with the shimmering hues of the Northern Lights. The wavering aurora light is caused by the electromagnetic interplay between the speeding particles of a coronal mass ejection from the sun and the Earth’s magnetic field. These solar flares are expected to increase in the months ahead as the sun ramps up to its solar maximum, which is expected to peak in late 2013.


Truckers left the paths of their tail lights below the bright night sky as they drove along the ice road on Prosperous Lake near Yellowknife, North West Territories on Thursday. (Bill Braden, The Canadian Press/Associated Press)


The Northern Lights were visible near Fáskrúðsfjörður on the east coast of Iceland, left, and near Yellowknife, North West Territories, right. (Jonina Oskardottir/Associated Press, left; Bill Braden, The Canadian Press/Associated Press, right)


The aurora borealis near Yellowknife, North West Territories. (Bill Braden, The Canadian Press/Associated Press)


The sky glowed over power lines at mile 9 on the Old Glenn Highway near Butte, Alaska. (Oscar Edwin Avellaneda/Reuters)

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Right at this moment, robotic probes launched by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and others are gathering information all across the solar system. We currently have spacecraft in orbit around the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Saturn. Several others are on their way to smaller bodies, and a few are heading out of the solar system entirely. Although the Space Shuttle no longer flies, astronauts are still at work aboard the International Space Station, performing experiments and sending back amazing photos. With all these eyes in the sky, I'd like to take another opportunity to put together a recent photo album of our solar system -- a set of family portraits, of sorts -- as seen by our astronauts and mechanical emissaries. This time, we have some closer views of the asteroid Vesta, a visit to the durable (if dusty) Mars rover Opportunity, some glimpses of Saturn's moons, and lovely images of our home, planet Earth. [34 photos]

A view of the Sun on March 7, 2012, seen in extreme ultraviolet wavelengths by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly aboard NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. Looping lines reveal solar plasma that is rising and falling along magnetic field lines in the solar atmosphere, or corona. The brighter prominence at upper left is named solar active region 1429, which has already released several large solar flares, some accompanied by large explosions of solar plasma known as coronal mass ejections. (NASA/SDO)

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The lunar new year is celebrated throughout the world, but especially in Asia when the lunisolar calendar ticks off a new cycle. This year is the Year of the Dragon on the Chinese zodiac, and is viewed as very auspicious. In China, the holiday is known as 春节, the Spring Festival, and kicks off 15 days of celebration. It also triggers the largest human migration in the world, as hundreds of millions of Chinese trek to see families. Gathered here are images of the preparation for the holiday, the travel scene in mainland China, and celebrations in many parts of the world. 新年快乐! -- Lane Turner/雷恩 (38 photos total)
Chinese folk artists perform the lion dance at a temple fair to celebrate the Lunar New Year on January 22, 2012 in Beijing. Also known as the Spring Festival, which is based on the Lunisolar calendar, it is celebrated from the first day of the first month of the lunar year and ends with the Lantern Festival on the Fifteenth day. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

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