From a distance of about 35,000,000 miles, R.B. Leighton of the California Institute of Technology obtained this photograph of Mars (18 days befor ethe opposition that cameSeptember 11, 1956). In it the brilliant white south polar cap is clearly shown. The lightarea below and to the right of this cap is Hellas, one of the most prominent desert areas.The dark area near the lower right-hand limb is Syrtis Major, a feature of increasinginterest in recent years to exobiologists. As the polar cap recedes, the dark areas(especially those in the same hemishpere) become darker.This was a 20-second exposure on Kodachrome Type A film with the aperture of the Mt.Wilson 60-inch reflector cut to 21 inches by an off-axis diapgragm. George Emersoncomposed the positive used to make this print at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.