Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

July 17, 1995

Picture Credit: NASA,Viking Project

Explanation: "Yes, I have been to Barsoom again ..." begins John Carter in Edgar Rice Burroughs' 1913 science fiction classic "The Gods of Mars". In Burroughs' novels describing Carter's adventures on Mars, "Barsoom" is the local name for the red planet. Long after Burroughs' stories were published, Mars has continued to capture the imagination of science fiction writers as a popular location for extraterrestrial adventures. This dramatic picture of a crescent Mars was taken by NASA's Viking 2 spacecraft in 1976.

For more information about Earth dwellers' efforts to explore Mars, see The Martian Chronicle.

Tomorrow's picture: Cygnus Loop shockwave

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.