Rough Terrain
Rough Terrain
ESP_013810_1485  Science Theme: Impact Processes
This HiRISE image shows a close-up view of the terrain northeast of Zilair Crater.

In lower-resolution images, from the Context Camera (also on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter), this area looks quite rough. The reasons for this rough texture are difficult to determine; however, clues from the surrounding area help solve this mystery. Many large impact craters surround this image, but there are no volcanoes nearby making it unlikely that the rough surface is from fresh, blocky lava flows.

The high-resolution image shown here reveals a few fresh, irregularly-shaped craters on top of this rough terrain. An irregular crater, approximately 600 meters (2000 feet) in diameter, is visible just right of center, about a third of the way up from the bottom of the image. Its shape suggests that it formed from a body that impacted the surface at a relatively low angle and slow speed. This makes it likely that it is a secondary crater (a crater that forms from debris blasted out of a nearby crater).

The rough terrain here is therefore likely to be a mix of impact material and secondary craters from nearby impacts, such as the one that formed the nearby large Zilair Crater.

Written by: Andrea Philippoff  (2 September 2009)
Acquisition date
07 July 2009

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
253.6 km (157.6 miles)

Original image scale range
from 25.4 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) to 50.8 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning)

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

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

Solar longitude
299.1°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  12.1°
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

Black and white
map-projected   (555MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (298MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (248MB)
non-map           (213MB)

IRB color
map projected  (112MB)
non-map           (334MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (172MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (162MB)

RGB color
non map           (341MB)
10K (TIFF)
HiClip mini 4K (MP4)

B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

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

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’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. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.