Rocky Mesas of Nilosyrtis Mensae Region
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Rocky Mesas of Nilosyrtis Mensae Region
PSP_003231_2095  Science Theme: Future Exploration/Landing Sites
French  Italian  Portuguese  Spanish 


800  1024  
1152  1280  
1440  1600  
1920  2048  


PDF, 11 x 17 in  
This image covers a region of science interest to which the Mars Science Laboratory rover might drive and explore.

The rover would need to first land in a nearby area that is flatter and less rocky so the chances of surviving the landing are high, but an acceptable landing site might be too far away to count on reaching these mesas.

Phyllosilicate (clay) minerals have been detected in this region by imaging spectrometers on the Mars Express and MRO spacecraft, and these minerals are of great interest in the search for evidence of life on ancient Mars.

Some day the capability may exist for precision landing and hazard avoidance, so a rover could be set down right next to rocky outcrops of interest for study, and perhaps collecting rock samples for return to Earth. The subimage illustrates some of these rocky mesas. It would take a person about 30 minutes to hike across this 1.1 kilometer wide area.
Written by: Alfred McEwen   (22 December 2010)

Click to share this post on Twitter Click to share this post on Facebook Click to share this post on Google+ Click to share this post on Tumblr

Acquisition date
05 April 2007

Local Mars time:

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Range to target site
290.3 km (181.4 miles)

Original image scale range
29.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~87 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle:

Phase angle:

Solar incidence angle
66°, with the Sun about 24° above the horizon

Solar longitude
213.2°, Northern Autumn

North azimuth:

Sub-solar azimuth:
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (1274MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (519MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (610MB)
non-map           (640MB)

IRB color
map projected  (253MB)
non-map           (481MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (336MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (321MB)

RGB color
non map           (484MB)
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible:
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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.