Press Release

Mars Odyssey Image: Daytime Infrared, Terra Sirenum

By SpaceRef Editor
March 1, 2002
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This 300-kilometer (186-mile) long daytime infrared image of Terra
Sirenum, taken by the thermal emission imaging system on NASA’s
2002 Mars Odyssey spacecraft, displays a wide variety of geologic
features. The mottled floor and rim of Koval’skiy Crater is seen at
the left (north) of the image. The bright and dark textures on the
floor of Koval’skiy are due primarily to differences in the abundance
of rocks, which are relatively cool (dark) during the day, whereas
fine sand and dust are warmer (bright).

Lava flows, fracture systems up to 3.3 kilometers (two miles) wide, and numerous impact craters ranging in diameter from 300 meters (1000 feet) to several kilometers (or miles) are visible south of Koval’skiy. The dark rings around several craters are due to the presence of rocky material ejected from the crater. Other brightness differences show temperature variations due to the presence of warmer, Sun-facing and colder, shadowed slopes. A larger image taken by NASA’s Viking Orbiter shows the location of the new image as an incised rectangle.

Terra Sirenum is located in the cratered highlands of the south. This image is centered near 33.5 degrees south, 141.5 degrees west, and was acquired on February 19, 2002 at about 3:15 p.m. martian time. North is toward the left of this image.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The thermal emission imaging system was provided by Arizona State University, Tempe. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Credit: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University

SpaceRef staff editor.