HiRISE: Cliffs and stratified features in central Arabia Terra

tumblr_pbk5x4f58W1rlz4gso2_1280Cliffs and stratified features in central Arabia Terra. Sedimentary rock? Layered materials looked as if mantled by dust. The goal of this observation is to capture some of the variety of erosional expressions  and stratigraphy.

Beautiful Mars series. [More at links]

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Curiosity update: Heading back to the Great Red Spot

2104ML0112280010802028E01_DXXX-br2Sol 2107, July 9, 2018, update by MSL scientist Roger Wiens: The image above shows the Mastcam view as of Sol 2104, in which the nearby terrain is clearly visible, but nothing beyond the foreground, and the entire scene looks a murky red-brown color due to the dust storm. Unhampered by the storm, Curiosity is heading back toward a site visited on Sol 2005 for what we hope will be the next drill target…. [More at link]

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HiRISE: Figure 8 craters on Mars

tumblr_pbm55yzBqI1rlz4gso1_1280Impact craters are very common on the surface of Mars as well as any other planetary body lacking a significant atmosphere (e.g., the Moon). In the absence of a thick atmosphere and active geologic processes, and if the surface is very old and has not been altered by something like lava flows, it will retain evidence of so many impacts that older and newer craters appear like circles on top of each other.

When we see a combination of two crater shapes on the ground, the one showing a nearly “full circle” will be the younger crater. In this image, we see the combined shape of two impact craters. However, neither crater displays a continuous circular shape (or rim) in the area connecting them…

Beautiful Mars series. [More at links]

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THEMIS: Giant pit crater collapse on Alba Mons

THEMIS Image of the Day, July 10, 2018. This VIS image is located on the eastern flank of Alba Mons. Linear faults and graben surround the volcano aligned north/south, intersecting and deflected around the summit. The large graben is called Phlegethon Catena. The term catena means a string of craters or circular depressions.

The depressions in this image were likely formed by the collapse of the preexisting surface into a subsurface void. Graben are caused by blocks of material that drop down along paired faults.

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

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Hypanis Valles: More likely a delta than a glacier

1-s2.0-S0019103518300393-gr1_lrgIs Mars’ Hypanis Valles a glacier? A new study says no.

A recent study [published in Icarus] from a team of scientists led by Jacob Adler of Arizona State University explored a unique area of scientific interest on Mars called Hypanis Valles. Considered a potential landing site for NASA’s Mars 2020 rover and ESA’s ExoMars 2018 rover mission, Hypanis is a large, fan-shaped sedimentary deposit on Mars approximately 150 meters tall and 60 kilometers wide. It has been hypothesized whether a major lobe of Hypanis Vallis could be home to a rock glacier. Adler’s team used satellite images to rule out that option. Instead, they found compelling evidence that these layered, fine-grained deposits were a massive delta.

Because of the lack of high-enough resolution satellite data until recently, scientists were uncertain of which landforms composed Hypanis. For the major lobe of Hypanis, the main candidates were a delta, mudflow, or alluvial fan. For the second, dubbed northern lobe, which the team hypothesized was formed by a different mechanism than the major lobe, one of the main landforms considered was a rock glacier. Interpreting the geomorphology and silt compositions, Adler and his team determined both lobes appear to be of deltaic origin and the largest yet found on Mars…. [More at links]

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HiRISE: Fans in east Coprates Montes

tumblr_pbggqp7bHJ1rlz4gso1_1280Dark be the fans in east Coprates Montes. Beautiful Mars series. [More at links]

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Curiosity: Under an orange sky

2104-mastcam34-farSol 2104, July 8, 2018. On this day, Curiosity drove about 54 meters (177 feet) to the northeast on the rolling ridge-top. With reddish rocks under a dust-laden atmosphere, the rover’s Mastcam (34 mm) looked out on an orange-tinted world.

The view below shows a work area in front of Curiosity where it may be commanded to drill. Both images (6 MB each) enlarge when clicked.

Sol 2104 raw images (from all cameras).


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HiRISE: Glacial tongue

tumblr_pbgh5zEQTS1rlz4gso1_1280Glacial tongue. Well, that’s a fine how-do-you-do! This re-image can help to detect for any changes in the ridges and boulder movement.

Beautiful Mars series. [More at links]

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Weather update from Gale Crater

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THEMIS: Flood-scoured island-mesa in Kasei Valles

Flood-scoured island in Kasei Valles (THEMIS_IOTD_20180709)THEMIS Image of the Day, July 9, 2018. Today’s VIS image is located near the beginning of Kasei Valles. At the top of the image is the relative high land of Lunae Planum. The Kasei Valles channel is just below.

The bottom part of the image is an eroded surface that forms an island in the channel. The surface of the island has been modified by the flow of water. The linear features forming right angle intersections were caused by tectonic forces in the region.

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

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