Light-toned Mounds in Gorgonum Basin
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Light-toned Mounds in Gorgonum Basin
ESP_050948_1430  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes


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Gorgonum Basin is one of several large basins within the Terra Sirenum region of Mars. Each basin has light-toned mounds, many of which contain clays.

Scientists think that Terra Sirenum once had a large lake during an epoch called the Late Noachian/Early Hesperian, and each basin filled with sediments. The water within the lake may have altered these sediments to form the clays we now observe from orbit. Ma’adim Vallis, which drains into Gusev Crater where the Spirit rover landed, drained the water from this ancient lake.

Why the basin floors exhibit mounds similar to chaos regions on Mars is unknown, but could be the result of collapse and subsequent erosion within the basins.

Written by: Cathy Weitz (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (29 June 2017)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_046478_1430.
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Acquisition date
09 June 2017

Local Mars time:
14:36

Latitude (centered)
-36.763°

Longitude (East)
190.313°

Range to target site
267.2 km (167.0 miles)

Original image scale range
26.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~80 cm across are resolved

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25 cm/pixel and North is up

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Equirectangular

Emission angle:
18.5°

Phase angle:
46.9°

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

Solar longitude
17.0°, Northern Spring

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North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  50.0°
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POSTSCRIPT
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.