Possible Phyllosilicate near Margaritifer Chaos
Possible Phyllosilicate near Margaritifer Chaos
ESP_028288_1720  Science Theme: Composition and Photometry
According to CRISM multispectral data, the exposures of light-toned materials (on small hills and between darker dunes) shows a strong iron-magnesium phyllosilicate (clay) signatures in this area. Phyllosilicates, or sheet silicates, are an important group of minerals that includes the micas, chlorite, serpentine, talc, and the clay minerals.

The existence of clay minerals is especially interesting on Mars since we want to know under what conditions these minerals formed. Could it have been the presence of water?

This image is a new one for HiRISE, since we have no previous observations of this area. With our camera’s resolution and data from CRISM, we might be able to determine if these particular phyllosilicates are actually present here.

Written by: HiRISE Science Team (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (14 November 2012)
Acquisition date
08 August 2012

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
265.5 km (165.0 miles)

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from 26.6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) to 53.1 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning)

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25 cm/pixel and North is up

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Solar incidence angle
56°, with the Sun about 34° above the horizon

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152.0°, Northern Summer

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North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  24.8°
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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.