10 Years On: First Very High Resolution Image of Mars
10 Years On: First Very High Resolution Image of Mars
TRA_000823_1720  Science Theme: 
This image was acquired on 29 September 2006. The MRO spacecraft had just finished aerobraking—dipping into Mars’ atmosphere to slow down the spacecraft and circularize the orbit. MRO was now in the lowest circular orbit of any Mars spacecraft, with its altitude varying from approximately 250 to 320 kilometers.

When this image was released, it demonstrated that HiRISE would achieve the spatial resolution and image quality needed to revolutionize our understanding of Mars’ surface. The image shows diverse surface units (bedrock, sand, dust) and complex patterns of faulting in the bedrock.

Written by: Alfred McEwen (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (28 September 2016)
Acquisition date
29 September 2006

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
264.0 km (164.1 miles)

Original image scale range
from 26.4 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) to 52.8 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning)

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
60°, with the Sun about 30° above the horizon

Solar longitude
113.5°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  38.1°
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   (266MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (171MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (131MB)
non-map           (104MB)

IRB color
map projected  (37MB)
non-map           (153MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (71MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (72MB)

RGB color
non map           (141MB)
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/JPL/University of Arizona

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.