Outcrops in the Hellas Montes
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Outcrops in the Hellas Montes
PSP_006672_1420  Science Theme: Fluvial Processes


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The Hellas Montes are a group of mountains along the western rim of the giant Hellas Basin on Mars.

The Hellas Basin is the largest of the obvious impact craters on the Red Planet. It is very ancient and has been partially filled by sediments. The Hellas Montes are part of the eroded crater rim.

In the central part of this HiRISE image, we can see steep slopes where landslides have exposed a variety of rocks. The jumble of blocks, rather than stacks of layered sediments or lavas, is consistent with impact crater ejecta. On flatter slopes, the ground is covered with a mantling deposit that is generally considered to be ice-rich dust.

In the southern part of the image, a large circular depression—rimmed by a zone with many large boulders—is visible. This is an impact crater with a relatively thin mantling deposit on its rim.

Written by: Laszlo P. Keszthelyi  (23 January 2008)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_031910_1420.

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Acquisition date
29 December 2007

Local Mars time:

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Range to target site
250.5 km (156.6 miles)

Original image scale range
25.1 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~75 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle:

Phase angle:

Solar incidence angle
55°, with the Sun about 35° above the horizon

Solar longitude
9.7°, Northern Spring

North azimuth:

Sub-solar azimuth:
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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

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.