Mars Has Many Faces, Including Some That Look Like Earth (Video)

Mars and Earth may seem like two completely different planets, but a closer look can reveal some familiar scenes. Case in point, this NASA video from the prolific Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which showcases some of the more Earthlike views on the Red Planet captured by the long-lived spacecraft. 

During its 11 years at Mars, MRO has spotted many Martian features that look like they might be right at home on Earth. They include dust storms and sand dunes, as well as dry lakebeds and more. You can check out some amazing Mars photos by MRO in our gallery here.

NASA showcased those similarities in the short new video, appropriately entitled "The Many Faces of Mars."

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured stunning images of the Red Planet, including some views that look very similar to vistas on Earth like this view of Martian bedrock and sand dunes. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)

"Earth has more in common with Mars than you might think," NASA officials wrote in a YouTube video description Friday (June 2). "Color-enhanced images like these help scientists interpret dynamic features on the Red Planet."

NASA's MRO spacecraft launched in 2005 and arrived in orbit around Mars a year later. Since then, the spacecraft has taken literally thousands of photos of the Red Planet, beaming more than 300 terabits of data to eager scientists on Earth. In March, the probe surpassed 50,000 orbits of Mars and is still hard at work today. 

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.