Bright and Dark Plains near Ganges Chasma
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Bright and Dark Plains near Ganges Chasma
ESP_020061_1720  Science Theme: Geologic Contacts/Stratigraphy
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This HiRISE image shows a mixture of bright and dark terrain along the plains just West of Ganges Chasma.

The concentration of these bright patches adjacent to an old impact crater suggests that the bright patches could represent ejecta from when the crater formed. This would be an interesting discovery because it would mean that a different unit underlies the surface we now see. Alternatively, much of the plains in this region appear to have a dark surficial cover, probably aeolian debris. Where this darker debris has been removed by the wind, the underlying brighter substrate would be exposed.

Mineralogic information from the CRISM instrument would be very useful for determining if the bright patches contain minerals indicative of water, such as clays, or if they are basalts produced from volcanic eruptions.

Written by: Cathy Weitz   (5 January 2011)



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Acquisition date:06 November 2010 Local Mars time: 3:41 PM
Latitude (centered):-7.979° Longitude (East):306.182°
Range to target site:261.7 km (163.5 miles)Original image scale range:26.2 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~79 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:2.4° Phase angle:53.7°
Solar incidence angle:56°, with the Sun about 34° above the horizon Solar longitude:176.6°, Northern Summer
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North azimuth:97° Sub-solar azimuth:12.3°
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North azimuth:270°Sub solar azimuth:187.1°

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For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.