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Science Briefing

An extreme close-up of Mars

August 16, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander has sent back the first-ever image of a speck of red Martian dust taken through an atomic force microscope, shown at a higher magnification than anything ever seen from another planet.

The dust particle is about one micrometer across -- one-millionth of a meter -- and is representative of the dust that cloaks Mars, producing the planet's distinctive red soil and pink sky, NASA said.

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