What is This Stuff?
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
What is This Stuff?
ESP_024886_1765  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes
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This image covers plains near Aureum Chaos. A puzzling ridged texture was first seen in an image from the Context Camera on MRO, leading to this suggestion for a HiRISE image.

In this image we can see much detail, but the origin of the surface texture is still puzzling. The enhanced color subimage helps to correlate rock units, but is also puzzling.

Here's a hypothetical geologic history that might explain this scene: layered sediments were deposited by water or airfall (including volcanic pyroclastics). A crudely polygonal patterned ground was created by stresses in the sediments, and groundwater followed the fractures and deposited minerals that cemented the sediments. This was followed by perhaps billions of years of erosion by the wind, leaving the cemented fractures as high-standing ridges.

Of course, this story is almost certainly incomplete if not totally wrong.

Written by: Alfred McEwen   (4 January 2012)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_025308_1765.

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Acquisition date
17 November 2011

Local Mars time:
14:37

Latitude (centered)
-3.484°

Longitude (East)
335.540°

Range to target site
269.6 km (168.5 miles)

Original image scale range
27.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~81 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
5.3°

Phase angle:
47.0°

Solar incidence angle
42°, with the Sun about 48° above the horizon

Solar longitude
31.0°, Northern Spring

North azimuth:
97°

Sub-solar azimuth:
28.6°
JPEG
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

JP2
Black and white
map-projected   (788MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (450MB)

JP2 EXTRAS
Black and white
map-projected  (363MB)
non-map           (449MB)

IRB color
map projected  (147MB)
non-map           (341MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (207MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (200MB)

RGB color
non map           (349MB)
ANAGLYPHS
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products
HiView

NB
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



USAGE POLICY
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



Postscript
For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. 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. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.