Formations in Context (Or, What is It?)
Formations in Context (Or, What is It?)
ESP_053734_1515  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
Some HiRISE images show strange-looking formations. Sometimes it helps to look at Context Camera images to understand the circumstances of a scene—like this cutout from CTX 033783_1509—which here shows an impact crater with a central peak, and a collapse depression with concentric troughs just north of that peak. Our HiRISE picture is a close-up of one of those troughs, along with channels draining into the depression.

On the floor of the trough is some grooved material that we typically see in middle latitude regions where there has been glacial flow. These depressions with concentric troughs exist elsewhere on Mars, and their origins remain a matter of debate.

NB: The Context Camera is another instrument onboard MRO, and it has a larger viewing angle than HiRISE, but less resolution capability than our camera.

Written by: Alfred McEwen (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (2 April 2018)
Acquisition date
12 January 2018

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
255.2 km (158.6 miles)

Original image scale range
51.3 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~154 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
70°, with the Sun about 20° above the horizon

Solar longitude
114.0°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  48.1°
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   (109MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (82MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (54MB)
non-map           (54MB)

IRB color
map projected  (24MB)
non-map           (83MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (120MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (107MB)

RGB color
non map           (75MB)
10K (TIFF)

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.