NASA Mars Odyssey THEMIS Image: Complex Crater

Status Report From: Mars Odyssey THEMIS
Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Medium image for 20050719a
Image Context:
Context image for 20050719a
Context image credit: NASA/Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Team
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ParameterValue ParameterValue
Latitude36.6   InstrumentVIS
Longitude329.5E (30.5W)   Resolution (m)38
Image Size (pixels)1684x739   Image Size (km)64.3x28.2

The crater in today's image is larger and more complex than the craters in yesterday's image. In large craters, the simple bowl shape is modified during crater formation. Flat floors, central peaks, and in this case, central pits are formed by rebound and heating of the impacted surface. Crater rims collapse due to gravity forming step-like slump blocks on the interior side of the rim. This crater also appears to be shedding material from the rims onto the crater floor in the form of fans and landslides. Finally, the presence of dunes in the lower left part of the crater indicates that wind activity has played a part in modifying this crater interior.

[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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