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Beautiful images of Mars' surface

Source: NASA | University of Arizona

NASA and the University of Arizona released more than 1,000 pictures of Mars' surface taken by the HiRISE imaging telescope aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The craft is able to send a large amount of data every 26 months, during what is known as "Mars opposition." At this time, Earth is between Mars and the sun, and the red planet is a lot closer to Earth. So we will have to wait two years for another trove of images.

"HiRISE is the most powerful camera ever sent to another planet, and we've taken well over 46,000 images at high resolution," HiRISE representative Ari Espinoza said in an email to CNBC. The camera takes images of the Spirit and Curiosity rovers on the planet and can scope out the best terrain for future mission landing sites.

The full catalog is here, but below are a few highlights.

Some "frosty" dunes on the planet's surface.

A small crater formed by a recent impact.

A valley with evidence of once-flowing liquid.

Some dunes called Kolhar, the same name given to a barren planet in Frank Herbert's novel "Dune."

A gully.

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