Status Report

NASA Mars Odyssey THEMIS image: Upside-down craters

By SpaceRef Editor
August 29, 2003
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Medium image for 20030828a

Image Context:

Context image for 20030828a
Context image credit: NASA/Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Team
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This image shows an area not too far south of Meridiani, the area where the mineral hematite
was found on the Martian surface. In the center of the image the terrain becomes quite rugged,
where a great amount of material has eroded away, leaving behind buttes and mesas. Note how
some of the mesas are quite circular. This is an example of “inverted terrain”, in which a topographically
low feature, like a crater or a trench, becomes filled in with material. Later, the surrounding terrain
erodes away while the feature protects the material filling it. These circular mesas are most likely
inverted craters that were once holes in the ground.

[Source: ASU THEMIS Science Team]

Note: this THEMIS visual 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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ParameterValue ParameterValue
Latitude-28.2 &nbsp InstrumentVIS
Longitude8.7E (351.3W) &nbsp Resolution (m)19
Image Size (pixels)3061×1211 &nbsp Image Size (km)58.2×23

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