Marking the 20th anniversary of Odyssey, the longest-working Mars spacecraft in history, NASA recently shared an image showing breathtaking blue splashed across the Red Planet.

This has, however, confused netizens, who are questioning if the Red Planet actually blue? Well, no! The photo is a false colour image, meaning that the colours are representative of temperatures. According to NASA, the areas with cooler temperatures are recorded in bluer tints, while warmer features are depicted in yellows and oranges. Thus, the dark, sun-warmed dunes glow with a golden colour.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

In the picture, a sea of dark dunes, sculpted by the wind into long lines, surrounds Mars’ northern polar cap and covers an area as big as Texas. The image covers an area 19 miles (30 km) wide.

The agency said that the photo is a combination of images taken from December 2002 to November 2004 by the Thermal Emission Imaging System instrument on the Mars Odyssey orbiter.



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