Tag Archives: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

HiRISE: Disrupted terrain in Elysium Planitia

Disrupted terrain in southern Elysium Planitia. Beautiful Mars series.

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HiRISE: Floor of Ius Chasma

Floor of Ius Chasma. Beautiful Mars series.

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HiRISE: Changing dunes of Wirtz Crater

The large dark feature is a classic Martian sand dune. Most sand on Earth is made from the mineral quartz, which is white and bright. On Mars, most sand is composed of dark basalt, a volcanic rock. For this reason, … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Landforms at end of Her Desher Vallis

Landforms at west end of Her Desher Vallis. Beautiful Mars series.

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HiRISE: Unusual gullied slope

Unusual gullied slope in southern mid-latitudes. Beautiful Mars series.

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HiRISE: Bedrock exhumed from the deep

Roadside bedrock outcrops are all too familiar for many who have taken a long road trip through mountainous areas on Earth. Martian craters provide what tectonic mountain building and man’s TNT cannot: crater-exposed bedrock outcrops. Although crater and valley walls … Continue reading

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MARCI weather report, January 9-15, 2017

Local-scale dust storm activity was observed over a number of martian regions during this past week. These here today gone tomorrow style dust storms recurred over Amazonis, Chryse, Tempe, and near the Phlegra Montes. The southern highlands were relatively uneventful … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Layers in SW Arabia crater

Layers in a crater in southwestern Arabia Terra. Beautiful Mars series.

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HiRISE: Crater with exposed layers

On Earth, geologists can dig holes and pull up core samples to find out what lies beneath the surface. On Mars, geologists cannot dig holes very easily themselves, but a process has been occurring for billions of years that has … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Relatively dust-free lavas, Asia Mons

Relatively dust free lavas from Arsia Mons. Beautiful Mars series.

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HiRISE: Smooth and fractured deposits in Eridania valleys

The ancient highland channels in this image empty into the Eridania Basin (not visible), a large topographically low enclosure with smooth-appearing terrains that may have once contained a large paleolake or ancient sea. Water in these channels flowed to the … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Preserved ejecta and impact melt

This image of a well-preserved unnamed elliptical crater in Terra Sabaea, is illustrative of the complexity of ejecta deposits forming as a by-product of the impact process that shapes much of the surface of Mars. Here we see a portion … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Muddy ejecta flow

This small 2 kilometer-wide crater was sitting around, minding its own business when a meteoroid struck the ground just to the west and created a new, larger crater almost 10 kilometers in diameter (not pictured). The ejecta spraying out of … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Wide, branching channels

Southern spring on Mars brings sublimation of the seasonal dry ice polar cap. Gas trapped under the seasonal ice sheet carves channels on its way to escaping to the atmosphere. At this site, the channels are wider than we see … Continue reading

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MARCI weather report, January 2-8, 2017

There was a slight increase in local-scale dust storm activity this past week on Mars. Short-lived dust storms were observed over Alba, Tempe, Acidalia, and Chryse Planitia. Dust hazes were spotted over Xanthe Terra on the sol following activity over … Continue reading

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