Cratered Cones in Utopia Planitia
Cratered Cones in Utopia Planitia
PSP_008767_2055  Science Theme: Volcanic Processes
Cone-shaped hills with summit depressions or craters similar to the two examples in this image are common in the northern mid-latitudes of Mars. Their occurrence in plains that are likely to be volcanic in origin, and their shape that is similar to small explosive cones on Earth, are evidence for a volcanic genesis of these cones.

But the details of the surrounding area and the cones, in this case, demonstrate they are too battered by small impact craters and erosion in general to allow a definitive interpretation. They could also be simply erosional outliers of an older terrain. Or, they may be non-volcanic features similar to certain ice-related hills on Earth.

Written by: L. Crumpler  (16 July 2008)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_009202_2055.
Acquisition date
09 June 2008

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
287.9 km (178.9 miles)

Original image scale range
29.6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~89 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
45°, with the Sun about 45° above the horizon

Solar longitude
83.1°, Northern Spring

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North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  16.0°
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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.