Banded Terrain in Hellas Planitia
Banded Terrain in Hellas Planitia
ESP_022312_1400  Science Theme: Composition and Photometry
Hellas Planitia is the vast interior of the largest enclosed impact basin on Mars. Hellas is located in the Southern highlands and formed very early in the planet's history.

The deepest place in Hellas, and on Mars, is in the northwestern interior of Hellas. This observation shows an example of banded terrain that is common throughout this low-lying region.

The origin of this unique terrain exhibiting complex flow patterns is still under debate, but may be related to ductile deformation caused by large stresses that caused the material to bend and fold. The subimage shows large boulders that are eroding from scarps at the southern end of the image (lower right is downhill).

Written by: Sharon Wilson  (18 May 2011)
Acquisition date
01 May 2011

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
258.6 km (160.7 miles)

Original image scale range
51.8 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~155 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
37°, with the Sun about 53° above the horizon

Solar longitude
284.1°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  18.6°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
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Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
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RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (254MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (108MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (97MB)
non-map           (157MB)

IRB color
map projected  (36MB)
non-map           (131MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (273MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (253MB)

RGB color
non map           (121MB)
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

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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.