HiRISE Picture of the Day: 21 April 2024 
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Rocky Mesas of the Nilosyrtis Mensae Region

Rocky Mesas of the Nilosyrtis Mensae Region
This image targets a portion of a group of honeycomb-textured landforms in northwestern Hellas Planitia, which is part of one of the largest and most ancient impact basins on Mars.

In a larger Context Camera image, the individual “cells” are about 5 to 10 kilometers wide. With HiRISE, we see much greater detail of these cells, like sand ripples that indicate wind erosion has played some role here. We also see distinctive exposures of bedrock that cut across the floor and wall of the cells. These resemble dikes, which are usually formed by volcanic activity.

Additionally, the lack of impact craters suggests that the landscape, along with these features, have been recently reshaped by a process, or number of processes that may even be active today. Scientists have been debating how these honeycombed features are created, theorizing from glacial events, lake formation, volcanic activity, and tectonic activity, to wind erosion.

ID: ESP_052430_1425
date: 2 October 2017
altitude: 258 km

https://uahirise.org/hipod/ESP_052430_1425
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UArizona
#Mars #science #NASA

Black & white is less than 5 km across; enhanced color is less than 1 km. For full observation details, visit the ID link.