Colorful Planet Mars -A barren but still exciting landscape [43 Pics]

Colorful planet Mars: Exposure of Thick Layered Deposits in Hebes Chasma

Exposure of Thick Layered Deposits in Hebes Chasma
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona


Introduction

The following photos of Planet Mars shatters the idea of an all “red” planet. Mars also has many many hidden, very colorful treasures. The landscape shown is like a post apocalyptic Earth. Or perhaps more what our own planet would look like if we removed almost all life. Nevertheless the Mars landscape is breathtaking and make me daydream of what it would be to build a new civilisation on Mars – starting from scratch. That would be something…

HiRISE is the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The spacecraft is currently orbiting Mars approximately 13 times an (Earth) day. The Primary Science Phase (the main “mapping” phase of the mission) officially started on November 8, 2006, and lasted for two (Earth) years. Extended Science Phase(s) (ESP) are expected to continue as long as the spacecraft and camera remain healthy.

HiROC (the HiRISE Operations Center) is where the day-to-day action takes place. Images are planned, the camera is commanded, data is downlinked, processed, and distributed. They’re located at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ.
[43 pictures]

Hint: Use “J” and “K” keys to navigate from picture to picture.

Colorful planet Mars: Gasa Crater Gully Monitoring

Gasa Crater Gully Monitoring
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Russell Crater Dunes

Russell Crater Dunes
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Manhattan Geysers

Manhattan Geysers
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Dry Ice Gone Wild

Colorful planet Mars: Dry Ice Gone Wild
Have you ever played with dry ice (with leather gloves on of course!)? Perhaps you’ve made Halloween punch? Set a spooky scene? The fun comes from the fact that dry ice goes directly from solid to vapor, unlike water ice which melts into liquid when it gets warm.

On Mars the seasonal polar caps are composed of dry ice (carbon dioxide). In the springtime as the sun shines on the ice, it turns from solid to gas and causes erosion of the surface. I enjoy the incredible diversity of forms that the erosion takes, and am studying the factors that give us “spiders”, “caterpillars”, or “starbursts”, all colloquial words for what we rigorously name “araneiform” terrain.

This particular example shows eroded channels filled with bright ice, in contrast to the muted red of the underlying ground. In the summer the ice will disappear into the atmosphere, and we will see just the channels of ghostly spiders carved in the surface. This is truly Martian terrain – this type of erosion does not take place anywhere naturally on earth because our climate is too warm.

Written by: Candy Hansen   (21 March 2011)
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Layered Deposits on Southern Mid-Latitude Crater Floor

Layered Deposits on Southern Mid-Latitude Crater Floor
This image features the floor of a crater in the southern highlands of Mars.

The light-toned layered deposits (LTLD) are located in the center of the image; they are exposed along the edges of the high-standing mesa. LTLD are found in many places on Mars, including impact craters and canyons near the equator. They may have been deposited by sedimentary processes involving wind and/or water.

Dunes or ripples surround the mesa. The orientation of the dunes indicates that the direction of the dominant wind at the time of the dune/ripple formation was along the troughs that surround the mesa.

The terrain near the bottom of the image has a texture that geologists call “etched.” The etched texture is a result of differential erosion as some materials being eroded more easily than others. One possible scenario is that the region was buried by a soft sedimentary deposit that is now being removed by wind erosion.

Written by: Kelly Kolb   (15 April 2009)
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Bedrock Exposed in Walls and Central Peak of Crater

Colorful planet Mars: Bedrock Exposed in Walls and Central Peak of Crater
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Mesa Armored by Impact Ejecta in Ganges Chasma

Colorful planet Mars: Mesa Armored by Impact Ejecta in Ganges Chasma
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: cut landscape

Someone cut out a piece of the Mars!
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Spring Sandfall in North Polar Erg

Colorful planet Mars: Spring Sandfall in North Polar Erg
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: 12-Kilometer Diameter Crater with Central Peak

12-Kilometer Diameter Crater with Central Peak
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Cerberus Fossae Fractures

Colorful planet Mars: Cerberus Fossae Fractures
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Purple dunes in Proctor Crater

Colorful planet Mars: Purple dunes in Proctor Crater
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Mesa with Light-Toned Material Exposed in Walls in Terra Sirenum

Mesa with Light-Toned Material Exposed in Walls in Terra Sirenum
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Spring Evolution in Ithaca Region

Spring Evolution in Ithaca Region
Namib-Naukluft National Park is an ecological preserve in Namibia’s vast Namib Desert. Coastal winds create the tallest sand dunes in the world here, with some dunes reaching 980 feet (300 meters) in height.

Image taken on Aug. 12, 2000

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Dunes in Russell Crater

Dunes in Russell Crater

HiRISE images of the large sand dunes in Russell Crater have been repeatedly acquired to look for evidence of surface changes.

This full image shows diffuse, dark patterns that are likely caused by many dust devils removing bright dust from the surface of the dunes. In addition, as shown in the cutout, narrow troughs continue to form on the steep faces of the sand dunes.

These troughs appear to be formed when chunks of carbon dioxide (“dry”) ice slides down the face of the dune. The image on the left was taken a bit over a Mars year before the image on the right; both were taken in the springtime. The ice blocks may sometimes slide down the same troughs, but comparison of these two images shows that new troughs have been formed during the past year. The pits near the ends of the troughs may be locations where blocks of ice came to rest and then evaporated away.

Written by: Ken Herkenhoff (9 March 2011)

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Crater with Chutes on Walls beneath Outcrops

Colorful planet Mars: Crater with Chutes on Walls beneath Outcrops
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Crater with Chutes on Walls beneath Outcrops

Colorful planet Mars: Crater with Chutes on Walls beneath Outcrops
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Possible Olivine-Rich Terrain

Colorful planet Mars: Possible Olivine-Rich Terrain
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Gullies in Dunes on Kaiser Crater Floor

Gullies in Dunes on Kaiser Crater Floor
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Mawrth Vallis

Colorful planet Mars: Mawrth Vallis
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Layering on Floor of Noctis Labyrinthus Pit

Colorful planet Mars: Layering on Floor of Noctis Labyrinthus Pit
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Holden Crater

Colorful planet Mars: Holden Crater
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Santa Maria Crater

Colorful planet Mars: Santa Maria Crater
HiRISE acquired this color image of Santa Maria Crater, with the Opportunity rover perched on the southeast rim. Rover tracks are clearly visible to the east.

Opportunity has been studying this relatively fresh 90 meter diameter crater to better understand how crater excavation occurred during the impact and how it has been modified by weathering and erosion since. Note the surrounding bright blocks and rays of ejecta.

Spectral information from CRISM indicates a hydrated sulfate at this location. Opportunity is about 6 kilometers from the rim of Endeavour Crater, which CRISM indicates both hydrated sulfates as well as phyllosilicates that formed in a wetter past.

Written by: Matthew Golombek   (9 March 2011)
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Central Peak of Large Well-Preserved Crater

Colorful planet Mars: Central Peak of Large Well-Preserved Crater
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Russell Crater Dunes

Colorful planet Mars: Russell Crater Dunes
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Thick Layered Deposits in Hebes Chasma

Colorful planet Mars: Thick Layered Deposits in Hebes Chasma
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Eumenides Dorsum Yardangs

Colorful planet Mars: Eumenides Dorsum Yardangs
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Sand Motion in Gusev Crater near the Columbia Hills

Colorful planet Mars: Sand Motion in Gusev Crater near the Columbia Hills
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Possible Olivine-Rich Terrain North of Hellas Planitia

Colorful planet Mars: Possible Olivine-Rich Terrain North of Hellas Planitia
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Seasonal Changes at South Polar Cracked and Gullied Site

Colorful planet Mars: Seasonal Changes at South Polar Cracked and Gullied Site
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: South Polar Residual Cap in Spring

Colorful planet Mars: South Polar Residual Cap in Spring
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Frosted Polar Pit Gullies

Frosted Polar Pit Gullies
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Oudemans Crater-Related Deposits Emplaced into Noctis Labyrinthus

Possible Oudemans Crater-Related Deposits Emplaced into Noctis Labyrinthus
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: North Polar Layered Deposits Exposed Wall

Colorful planet Mars: North Polar Layered Deposits Exposed Wall
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Isolated Araneiform Topography

Colorful planet Mars: Isolated Araneiform Topography
The south polar terrain is so full of unearthly features that we had to visit Mr. Webster to find a suitable term. “Araneiform” means “spider-like”. These are channels that are carved in the surface by carbon dioxide gas. We do not have this process on Earth.

The channels are somewhat radially organized and widen and deepen as they converge. In the past we’ve just refered to them as “spiders.” “Isolated araneiform topography” means that our features look like spiders that are not in contact with each other. Written by: Candy Hansen   (12 December 2007)

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Landforms in Athabasca Valles

Landforms in Athabasca Valles
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Cratered Cones in Utopia Planitia

Cratered Cones in Utopia Planitia
Cone-shaped hills with summit depressions or craters similar to the two examples in this image are common in the northern mid-latitudes of Mars. Their occurrence in plains that are likely to be volcanic in origin, and their shape that is similar to small explosive cones on Earth, are evidence for a volcanic genesis of these cones.

But the details of the surrounding area and the cones, in this case, demonstrate they are too battered by small impact craters and erosion in general to allow a definitive interpretation. They could also be simply erosional outliers of an older terrain. Or, they may be non-volcanic features similar to certain ice-related hills on Earth.

Written by: L. Crumpler   (16 July 2008)
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Polar Sand Dunes

Colorful planet Mars: Polar Sand Dunes
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Tooting Crater Interior

Colorful planet Mars: Tooting Crater Interior
Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: trees on mars

Trees on Mars!!!
This image looks remarkably like groves of trees growing among Martian dunes. But, the trees are an optical illusion. They are actually dark streaks of sediment on the downwind side of the dunes. They were created by escaping gas from the evaporating carbon dioxide ice below. The bottom of the ice melts into vapor and moves toward holes in the ice, carrying dark sediment along with it that is then deposited when the gas escapes.

This image was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in Aprl 2008.

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Victoria Crater

Victoria Crater
The angle of this image of Victoria Crater reveals layering at the top of the crater walls. The pattern on the floor of the crater is made of sand dunes. Tracks from NASA’s Opportunity rover can be seen on the left side of the crater. This image was taken in July 2009 by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Colorful planet Mars: Linear dunes

Linear dunes
The stripes in this image are linear dunes on the floor of a crater in the Noachis Terra region of Mars. The dark areas are the dunes, and the lighter boulder-strewn lines are between the dunes. This image was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Dec. 28, 2009

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona




, , , , ,

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Mars, een zeer kleurrijke planeet. | Rool's speurtocht - August 29, 2014

    […] Altijd gedacht dat Mars een rode planeet was? Ik ook, totdat ik Triggerpit tegenkwam. […]

Leave a Reply