Rocky Mesas of the Nilosyrtis Mensae Region
Rocky Mesas of the Nilosyrtis Mensae Region
PSP_003231_2095  Science Theme: Future Exploration/Landing Sites
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 cutout 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  (10 October 2007)
Acquisition date
05 April 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
287.3 km (178.6 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

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  332.8°
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   (621MB)

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’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.