View of the solar corona and magnetic loops during an eclipse of the Sun by the Earth. In this image, the outer plasma atmosphere of the Sun, 200 times hotter than the Sun's surface, is occulted by our planet. The graduated reduction in our view is due to the variable density of Earth's atmosphere, which blocks ultraviolet light. Solar Dynamics Observatory, April 2, 2011.
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Planetfall: Avalanche on Mars
Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona.
Avalanche in the northern polar region of Mars. On the left the avalanche creates a 180-foot-high dust cloud after falling nearly 2,000 feet from the scarp edge. To the right, black markings on frozen dunes give indications of a partial defrost. Photographed from an altitude of about 200 miles, the clarity of this view gives a clear indication of the spacecraft telescope's power. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, January 27, 2010.
Mimas against shadows cast by Saturn's rings on its northern hemisphere. In the lower third of the picture, we see the lit side of the rings from an oblique angle. North is up. Cassini, November 7, 2004.
Enceladus vents water into space from its south polar region. The moon is lit by the Sun on the left, and backlit by the vast reflecting surface of its parent planet to the right. Icy crystals from these plumes are likely the source of Saturn's nebulous E ring, within which Enceladus orbits. Mosaic composite photograph. Cassini, December 25, 2009.