- Press Release
- Dec 5, 2022
NASA Mars Odyssey THEMIS Image: Young Channel, Old Crater
Context image credit: NASA/Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Team
[ Find on map: CGI version ]
The Odyssey spacecraft has completed a full Mars year of observations
of the red planet. For the next several weeks the Image of the Day
will look back over this first mars year. It will focus on four
themes: 1) the poles – with the seasonal changes seen in the retreat
and expansion of the caps; 2) craters – with a variety of morphologies
relating to impact materials and later alteration, both infilling
and exhumation; 3) channels – the clues to liquid surface flow; and
4) volcanic flow features. While some images have helped answer
questions about the history of Mars, many have raised new questions
that are still being investigated as Odyssey continues collecting
data as it orbits Mars.
Infrared images taken during the daytime exhibit both the morphological and
thermophysical properties of the surface of Mars. Morphologic details are
visible due to the effect of sun-facing slopes receiving more energy than
antisun-facing slopes. This creates a warm (bright) slope and cool (dark) slope
appearance that mimics the light and shadows of a visible wavelength image.
Thermophysical properties are seen in that dust heats up more quickly than
rocks. Thus dusty areas are bright and rocky areas are dark.
This daytime IR image was collected on February 3, 2003 during the northern summer season. This image shows a younger channel cutting through an older crater.
[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.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University
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