Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Promethei Terra, southern highlands of Mars

12.10.2004


Martian dunes


Impact crater


These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft, show a part of the southern highlands of Mars, called Promethei Terra.

The images were taken during orbit 368 in May 2004 with a ground resolution of approximately 14 metres per pixel. The displayed region is centred around longitude 118° East and latitude 42° South.

They show an area in the Promethei Terra region, east of the Hellas Planitia impact basin. The smooth surface is caused by a layer of dust or volcanic ash that is up to several tens of metres thick.



This layer has covered all landforms, and even young impact craters have lost their contours due to in-fill and collapse of their fragile crater walls. This layer has been removed by the wind at some ridges and crater walls.

Although these images were taken at high resolution and show very fine detail, this covering layer leads to a slightly fuzzy appearance.

The large impact crater in the southern part of the image is 32 kilometres wide and up to 1200 metres deep. The dark crater floor is most likely the result of ‘deflation’, the geological term for the lifting and removal of loose material.

The dust removed here has accumulated in the southern part of the crater, forming a thick layer. The numerous dark tracks to the north-western and west are ‘dust devil’ tracks.

These atmospheric ‘eddies’, like tornadoes on Earth, remove the uppermost dust layers which have a slightly different colour to the now-exposed surface. The tracks can be more than 20 kilometres long and contrast prominently with the lighter-coloured surroundings.

Dust devil tracks provide short-lived evidence of the ongoing geological and atmospheric activity on Mars, which consists mainly of the transport of dust by wind.

Another sign for this ‘aeolian’ (wind-related) activity in the area is the existence of small dune fields that have formed in some of the depressions. They can be seen in the crater in the north and in its surroundings (see close-up).

The dust devils are not limited by geomorphological boundaries: for example, their tracks cross the crater rim. Dust devil tracks can also be seen on the thick dust layer in the southern part of the crater.

Due to the thickness of the dust layer, no darker material is exposed here. The dust devil tracks show two distinct directions of movement: east to west and south-east to north-west.

The colour images have been processed using the nadir (vertical view) and three colour channels, and the perspective views have been calculated from the digital terrain model derived from the stereo channels. The 3D anaglyph image has been created from the nadir and one stereo channel.

Guido De Marchi | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int
http://www.esa.int/export/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEM95XMKPZD_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Illinois team finds Wigner crystal -- not Mott insulator -- in 'magic-angle' graphene
25.09.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht Measuring Smallest Magnetic Fields in the Brain Using Diamond and Laser Technology
25.09.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik IAF

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Hygiene at your fingertips with the new CleanHand Network

The Fraunhofer FEP has been involved in developing processes and equipment for cleaning, sterilization, and surface modification for decades. The CleanHand Network for development of systems and technologies to clean surfaces, materials, and objects was established in May 2018 to bundle the expertise of many partnering organizations. As a partner in the CleanHand Network, Fraunhofer FEP will present the Network and current research topics of the Institute in the field of hygiene and cleaning at the parts2clean trade fair, October 23-25, 2018 in Stuttgart, at the booth of the Fraunhofer Cleaning Technology Alliance (Hall 5, Booth C31).

Test reports and studies on the cleanliness of European motorway rest areas, hotel beds, and outdoor pools increasingly appear in the press, especially during...

Im Focus: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Establishing metastasis

25.09.2018 | Health and Medicine

Artificial intelligence to improve drug combination design & personalized medicine

25.09.2018 | Health and Medicine

Small modulator for big data

25.09.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>