So, we know that Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in our solar system, and that its day is only slightly longer than on Earth – 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds – but have you ever wondered what morning looks like on the red planet? Well, look no further than these breathtaking pictures taken by NASA’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE). Continue reading to see more.

The current understanding of planetary habitability – the ability of a world to develop and sustain life – favors planets that have liquid water on their surface. This most often requires that the orbit of a planet lie within the habitable zone, which for the Sun currently extends from just beyond Venus to about the semi-major axis of Mars. During perihelion Mars dips inside this region, but the planet’s thin (low-pressure) atmosphere prevents liquid water from existing over large regions for extended periods. The past flow of liquid water demonstrates the planet’s potential for habitability. Some recent evidence has suggested that any water on the Martian surface may have been too salty and acidic to support regular terrestrial life.

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