THEMIS Image of the Day, September 18, 2017. Siton Undae is a large dune field located in the northern plains near Escorial Crater. Siton Undae is west of the crater and is one of three dune fields near the crater. The nearby north polar cap is dissected by Chasma Boreale, which exposes an ice free surface. This image was collected during early spring in the northern hemisphere. The bright appearance of the dunes is due to frost cover. As the season progresses the dunes become darker as the frost disappears.
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.