Status Report

NASA Mars Odyssey THEMIS Image: Atmospheric Effects in IR Color

By SpaceRef Editor
August 3, 2004
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Medium image for 20040803A

Image Context:

Context image for 20040803A
Context image credit: NASA/Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Team
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ParameterValue ParameterValue
Latitude-8.2 &nbsp InstrumentIR
Longitude267.9E (92.1W) &nbsp Resolution (m)100
Image Size (pixels)7046×320 &nbsp Image Size (km)704.6×32

This image is part of the following themes:

Full data on this image has now been released via the THEMIS Data Releases website.

This image shows two representations of the same infra-red image covering parts of Ius Chasma and Oudemans Crater. On the left is a grayscale image showing

surface temperature, and on the right is a false-color composite made

from 3 individual THEMIS bands. The false-color image is colorized

using a technique called decorrelation stretch (DCS), which emphasizes

the spectral differences between the bands to highlight compositional


This image is dominated by atmospheric effects. The pink/magenta colors inside the canyon show areas with a large amount of atmospheric dust. In the bottom half of the image, the patchy blue/cyan colors indicate the presence of water ice clouds out on the plains. Water ice clouds and high amounts of dust do not generally occur at the same place and time on Mars because the dust absorbs sunlight and heats the atmosphere. The more dust that is present, the warmer the atmosphere becomes, sublimating the water ice into water vapor and dissipating any clouds.

[Source: ASU THEMIS Science Team]

Note: this THEMIS infrared image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

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 (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey 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.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University

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