THEMIS: Higher Sun angle changes look of Russell Crater’s dunes & dune ridge

Dune ridge in Russell Crater (THEMIS_IOTD_20170810)THEMIS Image of the Day, August 10, 2017. This image shows the central part of the dune field on the floor of Russell Crater, including the large dune ridge. Comparing this image to yesterday’s you will see a significant difference in appearance. This image was collected at a higher incidence angle, so the Sun is at a different angle to the surface.

Russell Crater is located in Noachis Terra. A spectacular dune ridge and other dune forms on the crater floor have caused extensive imaging by scientists as they seek to understand these dunes.

NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft has spent over 15 years in orbit around Mars, circling the planet more than 69,000 times. It holds the record for longest working spacecraft at Mars. THEMIS, the IR/VIS camera system, has collected data for the entire mission and provides images covering all seasons and lighting conditions.

Over the years many features of interest have received repeated imaging, building up a suite of images covering the entire feature. From the deepest chasma to the tallest volcano, individual dunes inside craters and dune fields that encircle the north pole, channels carved by water and lava, and a variety of other feature, THEMIS has imaged them all.

For the next several months the Image of the Day will focus on the Tharsis volcanoes, the various chasmata of Valles Marineris, and the major dunes fields. We hope you enjoy these images!

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

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