NASA reveals stunning Mars photos collected in a nearly 12-year exploration

Mars and the Earth may have more in common than we thought. NASA just revealed photos of Mars taken by its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The images look strikingly similar to planet Earth.

The MRO, which has sent thousands of vibrant images back to scientists, has documented everything from dust storms to mineral hills since its launch nearly 12 years ago. The landscapes are somewhat like red deserts or canyons. "Earth has more in common with Mars than you might think," NASA wrote in a recent video uploaded to YouTube.

MRO is used to better understand materials, subsurface water, dust and weather on Mars, according to NASA's website. It's also great at supplying us with gorgeous photos of the red planet. Check out some of them below:

"A Mesa in Noctis Labyrinthus"

A small, 0.4-kilometer mesa, which is a type of landform.NASA/JPL-Caltech

"Layers and Dark Dunes"

"Much of Mars' surface is covered by fine-grained materials that hide the bedrock," NASA's website writes.NASA/JPL-Caltech

"A Sneak Peak into Saheki's Secret Layers"

Mars' Saheki Crater, which is approximately 84 kilometers acrossNASA/JPL-Caltech

"Erosion of the Edge of the South Polar Layered Deposits"

Erosion of south polar layered deposits on Mars. Each ripple is about 10 meters apart.NASA/JPL-Caltech

"Colorful Impact Ejecta From Hargraves Crater"

A colorful crater on Mars' surfaceNASA/JPL-Caltech