Science and Exploration

Mars: Hellas Basin Chaos

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
November 27, 2014
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Mars: Hellas Basin Chaos
Mars: Hellas Basin Chaos

Hellas Chaos, in the southern central part of the giant Hellas basin, stretches roughly 200 km north-south and for about 500 km in an east-west direction.
It shows a variety of landforms, from large impact craters containing wind-blown dunes or flat-topped mesas, to ridges and troughs with rough knobs of material protruding from the surface. The region is also dusted with carbon dioxide frost. In the right-hand portion of the image, the curved outlines of large sublimation pits are interspersed with polygonal-patterned terrain. These features are typical of ‘periglacial’ terrain, and develop as a result of contraction and relaxation during freeze-thaw cycles as the seasons change.

The image was acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA’s Mars Express on 23 January 2014 during orbit 12 785. The image is centred on 46ºS / 69ºE. The ground resolution is about 18 m per pixel. North is to the right and west is at the top.

Download full hires panorama.

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