Western Medusa Fossae Formation: Dust and Dunes
Western Medusa Fossae Formation: Dust and Dunes
ESP_041864_1745  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
This beautifully contrasted infrared-color image shows an area approximately 600 by 900 meters. This is a close-up of the western Medusa Fossae formation where we can see dust-covered rocky, bedrock surfaces (beige) and a bluish-tinted sand sheet that transitions into several dunes.

The bluish sand is thought to originate from the bedrock that lies beneath the dust. If true, this has implications for the composition of the formation, which has been highly debated over the years.

Written by: Livio Tornabene, Elizabeth Silber, and Kayle Hansen (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (16 September 2015)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_050725_1745.
Acquisition date
02 July 2015

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
267.5 km (166.3 miles)

Original image scale range
26.8 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~80 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
38°, with the Sun about 52° above the horizon

Solar longitude
6.9°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  17.2°
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   (1031MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (562MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (543MB)
non-map           (572MB)

IRB color
map projected  (221MB)
non-map           (491MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (230MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (236MB)

RGB color
non map           (467MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

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’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.