Potential Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site: Nili Fossae Trough
Potential Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site: Nili Fossae Trough
PSP_008927_2010  Science Theme: Future Exploration/Landing Sites
Nili Fossae trough is a linear trough about 25 kilometers wide, formed in response to the creation of the Isidis basin.

Nili Fossae has diverse deposits, some containing phyllosilicates (clay deposits which typically form in the presence of water), and others with the minerals olivine and pyroxene.

This image is part of a series covering the 25 km landing ellipse; these images are used to determine the safest possible landing site for the Mars Science Laboratory rover. In this image, relatively smooth rock exposures is visible, as well as sand ripples and some small knobs. There are few large rocks in the area, while the surface seems to be mostly flat, fractured rock.

This image is located in the Southeastern part of the landing ellipse.

Written by: Jennifer Griffes  (23 July 2008)
Acquisition date
22 June 2008

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
278.8 km (173.2 miles)

Original image scale range
55.8 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~167 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 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
88.6°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  21.6°
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   (535MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (243MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (287MB)
non-map           (265MB)

IRB color
map projected  (105MB)
non-map           (232MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (503MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (492MB)

RGB color
non map           (229MB)
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.