Lava Lamp Terrain on the Floor of Hellas Basin
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Lava Lamp Terrain on the Floor of Hellas Basin
ESP_025780_1415  Science Theme: Composition and Photometry
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Some of the weirdest and least-understood landscapes on Mars are on the floor of the deep Hellas impact basin. This image was acquired in northwest Hellas where depths are more than 6 kilometers below the reference (or roughly the average) altitude for Mars.

There are what look like impact craters but are elongated, as if stretched in a viscous manner (like in a lava lamp). Some of the flowing landforms are similar to those elsewhere in the middle latitudes of Mars, where the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) experiment on MRO has detected ice, but no ice detection has been reported here.

The floor of Hellas is relatively poorly mapped because it is often obscured by dust and haze in the atmosphere.

Written by: Alfred McEwen   (28 March 2012)

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Acquisition date:26 January 2012 Local Mars time:15:07
Latitude (centered):-37.986° Longitude (East):53.755°
Range to target site:259.3 km (162.1 miles)Original image scale range:51.9 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~156 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:50 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:3.3° Phase angle:76.7°
Solar incidence angle:74°, with the Sun about 16° above the horizon Solar longitude:62.0°, Northern Spring

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