This American Penny is special because not only is it over 100 years old, it is also covered in alien dust! The penny, which was first released into circulation in 1909, was a special edition in honor of Lincoln’s 100th birthday and last year it was sent on a journey to Mars on board the rover “Curiosity”. The reason for the penny’s unusual journey is actually symbolic as it represents the geologists’ tradition of using a penny as a way of referencing scale in scientific specimens. This picture was taken by the rover’s MAHLI camera and is one of many images captured and beamed back to earth over the past year. So, this is what a penny looks like after being on Mars for 411 days.
There are dozens of spacecraft orbiting our solar system. NASA and ESA take many photographs of Earth, Mercury, the Moon, Mars, Saturn and other planets. Inside this post you can see the most recent pictures from around our solar system. Some of them are closely scaled, others are millions of kilometers afar which makes them ever more fantastic and amazing.