Hematite in Capri Chasma
Hematite in Capri Chasma
ESP_023331_1670  Science Theme: Composition and Photometry
Coarsely crystalline gray hematite is an iron oxide initially discovered from orbit by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument. TES has detected gray hematite in this area of Capri Chasma, one of several large depressions that make up the Valles Marineris canyon system.

This HiRISE image shows light-toned units beneath darker mantles. At the Opportunity landing site in Meridiani Planum, the same gray hematite is found in millimeter size globules that have weathered out of the sulfate outcrop and become concentrated along upper soils.

It is likely that the same scenario is taking place here in Capri with the hematite grains forming in the light-toned sulfates and then eroding out and concentrating in the darker mantle soils.

Written by: Cathy Weitz  (17 August 2011)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_022698_1670.
Acquisition date
19 July 2011

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
263.2 km (163.6 miles)

Original image scale range
27.1 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

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
33°, with the Sun about 57° above the horizon

Solar longitude
330.6°, Northern Winter

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North azimuth:  95°
Sub-solar azimuth:  3.3°
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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.