Colorful Bedrock in a Northern Plains Crater
Colorful Bedrock in a Northern Plains Crater
ESP_063376_2315  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes
This image covers the inside of an impact crater on the northern plains of Mars. It was intended to provide a baseline image of sand dunes on the crater floor, which could be monitored for potential motion in future pictures.

Much more than sand is visible. The dark, undulating dunes sit atop a colorful surface of exposed bedrock. Based on the crater's diameter of roughly 25 kilometers, these rocks may have been previously buried over a mile beneath the surface. The varying colors likely reflect diverse mineral compositions. (The CRISM instrument, also on MRO, has detected different minerals in the neighboring larger Micoud Crater, whose rim lies about 50 kilometers east-southeast of this image.)

Excavated by impact, the colorful rocks here remain visible in part thanks to the winds that shape the overlying sand dunes, which help to sweep the crater's center clear of surface dust.

Written by: James Wray (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (30 March 2020)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_063956_2315.
Acquisition date
02 February 2020

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
305.8 km (190.1 miles)

Original image scale range
30.6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~92 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 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
144.9°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  342.7°
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IRB color
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IRB color
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Black and white
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non-map           (237MB)

IRB color
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non-map           (211MB)

Merged IRB
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Merged RGB
map-projected  (145MB)

RGB color
non map           (199MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

B&W label
Color label
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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.