Raindrops of Sand in Copernicus Crater
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Raindrops of Sand in Copernicus Crater
ESP_031221_1315  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
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The dark features here look like raindrops, but are actually sand dunes. This spot was targeted by CRISM because the dunes are rich in the mineral olivine.

Olivine-rich dunes are very rare on Earth, as olivine rapidly weathers to clays in a wet environment. There is also olivine-rich bedrock in the central peaks of Copernicus Crater on the Moon.

There is only a handful of very important scientists, like Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) who have craters named after them on both Mars and the Moon.

Written by: Alfred McEwen   (10 April 2013)

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Acquisition date
25 March 2013

Local Mars time:
14:37

Latitude (centered)
-48.104°

Longitude (East)
192.540°

Range to target site
253.1 km (158.2 miles)

Original image scale range
50.6 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~152 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

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Equirectangular

Emission angle:
2.9°

Phase angle:
42.2°

Solar incidence angle
39°, with the Sun about 51° above the horizon

Solar longitude
288.6°, Northern Winter

North azimuth:
97°

Sub-solar azimuth:
29.8°
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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.