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This image taken from 250 miles above Mars shows an area on Mars about 240 miles wide.  Hundreds of craters in the image vary in size from a quarter to a small crumb, with the largest crater in the center left.  Multiple lines of varying widths and lengths in the upper half of the picture cross diagonally southwest to northeast.  Two long fractures extend all the way south, into the bottom half of the image. The image is a colorful map that looks like an abstract art painting, with a full-spectrum of different colors representing different minerals on Mars.  A bright magenta area in the shape of a stereotypical house is in the center of the image, tilted to the left, with lime green, yellow, purple and orange smattering the image in the south.  Dark blue, darker green, and pink cover most of the northern section.
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Olivine-Rich Bedrock Around Nili Fossae

Colors indicate infrared emission signatures in this mosaic of images from NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter of a region of martian troughs named Nili Fossae. Analysis of this information from Odyssey's Thermal Emission Imaging System suggests that a deposit rich in the mineral olivine is about four times larger than indicated in earlier data from a lower-resolution infrared instrument on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor. The olivine-rich exposures appear magenta to purple-blue in this color-coding.

Olivine can turn into other minerals rapidly in the presence of water. This deposit, in a relatively old region of Mars' surface adjacent to one of the planet's largest volcanoes, Syrtis Major, suggests the region may never have seen much water.

The mosaic covers most of an area about 380 kilometers (about 240 miles) wide, from 75 degrees to 81 degrees in east longitude and from 18 degrees to 25 degrees in north latitude. North is up. Emission intensities at infrared wavelengths of 12.57 nanometers, 11.04 nanometers and 9.35 nanometers are displayed in red, green and blue, respectively.

This mosaic was presented in a report in the June 2005 issue of the journal Geology. For additional information about that report, see a University of Hawaii press release.


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