Ancient Layers on Mars
Ancient Layers on Mars
ESP_028487_2180  Science Theme: Geologic Contacts/Stratigraphy
This image shows the details of layers that were identified in previous lower resolution images. The terrain is along the boundary between the ancient highlands and the younger lowlands of Mars.

There are many erosional channels in this area, some of which expose layers. These geologic layers should be like pages in a book, telling us the story of how this part of Mars formed.

However, at HiRISE resolution it is clear that the surface has been reworked by small impact craters, dust, and ice processes. The result is that the pages are covered up by these later events. This is a common story across much of Mars. The more recent geologic activity has covered the ancient story of a possible warmer wetter past and one must dig into the subsurface to get to the distant past.

Written by: Lazslo Kestay  (3 October 2012)
Acquisition date
24 August 2012

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
295.0 km (183.3 miles)

Original image scale range
59.2 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~178 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
55°, with the Sun about 35° above the horizon

Solar longitude
160.1°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  347.3°
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   (263MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (144MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (139MB)
non-map           (121MB)

IRB color
map projected  (60MB)
non-map           (130MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (252MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (249MB)

RGB color
non map           (120MB)
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

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. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.