The Color Palette of Nilosyrtis Mensae
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
The Color Palette of Nilosyrtis Mensae
ESP_028825_2070  Science Theme: Fluvial Processes
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The region of Mars north of the Syrtis Major volcanics and the Isidis impact basin has well-exposed bedrock with diverse compositions. These regions are dark so the colors aren't well seen except with a sensitive imager like HiRISE and special processing.

The blue and green colors are generally due to mafic (magnesium and iron rich) minerals that are not altered by water, while the warmer colors are due to altered minerals like clays. The structure in this scene is quite complex from a combination of impact and perhaps fluvial and volcanic processes, tectonic faulting, and erosion.

The terrain is very old and has experienced a complex geologic history.

Written by: Alfred McEwen (audio by Tre Gibbs)   (24 October 2012)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_028680_2070.

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Acquisition date:19 September 2012 Local Mars time:15:23
Latitude (centered):26.918° Longitude (East):76.820°
Range to target site:303.1 km (189.4 miles)Original image scale range:30.3 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~91 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:20.6° Phase angle:74.9°
Solar incidence angle:55°, with the Sun about 35° above the horizon Solar longitude:174.4°, Northern Summer

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For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: 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.