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Favorite Images From Mars

  • Minerals at Gale Crater: Curiosity's Home
  • Sunset in Mars' Gale Crater
  • Looking Toward Curiosity Study Areas, Spring 2015 (Figure 1)
  • Diverse Terrain Types on Mount Sharp, Mars (Figure 1)
  • Mars Orbiter Sees Curiosity Rover in 'Artist's Drive'
  • Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Mojave' on Mount Sharp
  • Yardangs in Arsinoes Chaos, Mars
  • Martian 'Blueberries'
  • Frost on Crater Slope
  • Cross-Bedding at 'Whale Rock'
  • An Enigmatic Feature in Athabasca Lava Flows
  • Dunes and Ripples in Nili Patera
  • You Are My 'Hole' World!
  • Weird Crater
  • Activity in Martian Gully
  • Feathery Ridges
  • Endeavour Crater on Mars
  • Shadow Portrait of NASA Rover Opportunity on Martian Slope
  • Frost in Dune Shadows
  • Craters in an Icy Surface
  • You made a big impact on me!
  • Gale Crater Erosion
  • Colorful Dunes
  • Mars Global View of Valles Marineris
  • Polygonal Sand Dunes
  • Curiosity's Stars and Stripes
  • Curiosity Leaves Its Mark
  • A Glimpse of Mt. Sharp
  • Landing on Mars!
  • Hands Held High
  • The Serpent Dust Devil of Mars
  • A Martian Sunset
  • Dust Devils on Mars
  • East Rim of Endeavour Crater
  • Martian Mosaic
  • A Wild Assortment of Jumbled Rocks
  • Northern Ice Cap of Mars
  • A Gem of a Find
  • Crater on North Polar Layered Deposits
  • Mars' Moon Phobos
  • Phoenix and the American Flag on Mars
  • Defrosting Polar Sand Dunes
  • 'Victoria Crater' at Meridiani Planum
  • Rover Selfie of Solar Panels
  • Endurance Crater's Dazzling Dunes
  • Viking 2 Image of Mars Utopian Plain
  • Tharsis Volcano
Minerals at Gale Crater: Curiosity's Home Sunset in Mars' Gale Crater Looking Toward Curiosity Study Areas, Spring 2015 (Figure 1) Diverse Terrain Types on Mount Sharp, Mars (Figure 1) Mars Orbiter Sees Curiosity Rover in 'Artist's Drive' Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Mojave' on Mount Sharp Yardangs in Arsinoes Chaos, Mars Martian 'Blueberries' Frost on Crater Slope Cross-Bedding at 'Whale Rock' An Enigmatic Feature in Athabasca Lava Flows Dunes and Ripples in Nili Patera You Are My 'Hole' World! Weird Crater Activity in Martian Gully Feathery Ridges Endeavour Crater on Mars Shadow Portrait of NASA Rover Opportunity on Martian Slope Frost in Dune Shadows Craters in an Icy Surface You made a big impact on me! Gale Crater Erosion Colorful Dunes Mars Global View of Valles Marineris Polygonal Sand Dunes Curiosity's Stars and Stripes Curiosity Leaves Its Mark A Glimpse of Mt. Sharp Landing on Mars! Hands Held High The Serpent Dust Devil of Mars A Martian Sunset Dust Devils on Mars East Rim of Endeavour Crater Martian Mosaic A Wild Assortment of Jumbled Rocks Northern Ice Cap of Mars A Gem of a Find Crater on North Polar Layered Deposits Mars' Moon Phobos Phoenix and the American Flag on Mars Defrosting Polar Sand Dunes 'Victoria Crater' at Meridiani Planum Rover Selfie of Solar Panels Endurance Crater's Dazzling Dunes Viking 2 Image of Mars Utopian Plain Tharsis Volcano

Mars: Press Release Images

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Far-Northern Destination for Phoenix Mars Lander
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Both Solar Arrays Open on Phoenix Mars Lander
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Terrain Type for Phoenix Landing
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Odyssey Views A Surface Changed by Floods
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The floor of this unnamed crater in Aonia Terra has been filled with multiple layers of material.
Layered Fill
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The dune field in this polar region crater looks like a stubby arrow pointing the way west. This unnamed crater is located in Planum Chronium.
Unnamed crater is located in Planum Chronium.
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This HiRISE image (PSP_003597_1765), shows fractured mounds on the southern edge of Elysium Planitia.

The mounds are typically a few kilometers in diameter and about 200 feet tall. The fractures that crisscross their surfaces are dilational (extensional) in nature, suggesting that the mounds formed by localized uplift (i.e., they were pushed up from below).

The mounds are probably composed of solidified lava. They are contiguous with, and texturally similar to, the flood lavas that blanket much of Elysium Planitia, and, where dilation cracks provide cross-sectional exposure, the uplifted material is rocky.

Patches of mechanically weak and disrupted material overlie the rocky mound material. This is particularly conspicuous in the northeast corner of the HiRISE image. These patches may be remnants of a layer that was once more continuous but has been extensively eroded. Smooth lava plains fill the low-lying areas between the mounds. They are riddled with sinuous pressure ridges. The entire area is covered by a relatively thin layer of dust and sand.
Fractured Mounds in Elysium Planitia
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Materials Move Downslope on Mars
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HiRISE image (PSP_001942_2310) shows a crater approximately 11 km (7 miles) in diameter, located in Acidalia Planitia, part of the Northern Plains. Several features in and around this crater are suggestive of fluids and ice at and near the surface. 

The south-looking (or equator facing) walls of this crater are cut by numerous gullies such as the ones shown in this image's cutout (500 x 600 m or 550 x 650 yards), with well developed alcoves, sinuous channels, and terminal fan deposits. These gullies seem to originate at the same height, suggesting that the carving agent may have emanated from one single layer exposed in the crater's wall. 

Contrastingly, no gullies are observed in the north-looking (or pole facing) wall of this crater. Terrestrial gullies very similar to the ones shown in this image are produced by surface water. The arrows in the cutout show fissures that may indicate detachment of surficial materials possibly held together by subsurface ice, sliding en masse down the crater's wall. 

The muted topography of the crater and its surroundings, the relatively shallow floor (300 m or 330 yards), the convex slope of its walls-all are consistent with ice being present under the surface, mixed with rocks and soil. Ice would have acted as a lubricant, facilitating the flow of rocks and soils and hence smoothing landscape's features such as ridges and craters' rims.

The concentric and radial fissures in the crater's floor may indicate decrease of volume due to loss of underground ice. Piles of rocks aligned along these fissures and arranged forming polygons are similar to features observed in terrestrial periglacial regions such as Antarctica. Antarctica's features are produced by repeated expansion and contraction of subsurface soil and ice, due to seasonal temperature oscillations. The funnel-shaped depressions visible in the crater's floor could be collapse pits, further evidence of ice decay; alternatively, they could be smoothed-out impact craters.
Signs of Fluids and Ice in Acidalia Planitia
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Phoenix Lander on Mars (Stereo)
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Phoenix Lander on Mars
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Depth-to-Ice Map of a Southern Mars Site Near Melea Planum
Depth-to-Ice Map of a Southern Mars Site Near Melea Planum
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Depth-to-Ice Map of an Arctic Site on Mars
Depth-to-Ice Map of an Arctic Site on Mars
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This HiRISE image shows a portion of interior layered deposits (ILD) in Juventae Chasma. Juventae Chasma is a large depression near the equatorial canyon system Valles Marineris. The scene is along the top of a mound of layered deposits on the floor of Juventae Chasma. Dunes are seen in the low-lying, darker regions. Very fine layers are also seen (see subimage, approximately 1 km across). Understanding what kinds of materials formed the layers, how they were set in place, and how they have evolved will provide insight into Martian geologic history.
Interior Layered Deposits in Juventae Chasma
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This artist's conception of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory portrays use of the rover's ChemCam instrument to identify the chemical composition of a rock sample on the surface of Mars.
Mars Science Laboratory Using Laser Instrument, Artist's Concept
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NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, a mobile robot for investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life, is in development for a launch opportunity in 2009.
Mars Science Laboratory with Power Source and Extended Arm, Artist's Concept
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A Change in the Weather
A Fresh Crater Drills to Tharsis Bedrock
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This is a close-up image of the area in the vicinity of the Pathfinder landing site
Landing Site Region
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Opportunity captured this vista of "Victoria Crater" from the viewpoint of "Cape Verde," one of the promontories that are part of the scalloped rim of the crater.
Panorama from 'Cape Verde'
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Pits in Polar Cap
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As part of its investigation of "Victoria Crater," Opportunity examined a promontory called "Cape Verde" from the vantage point of "Cape St. Mary," the next promontory clockwise around the crater's deeply scalloped rim.
View of 'Cape Verde' from 'Cape St. Mary'
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This HiRISE image covers the southwest portion of the terraces and floor of Holden Crater situated in southwest Margaritifer Terra. The HiRISE sub-frame shows the most clearly-evident image of a megabreccia on Mars. Breccia is a rock typically consisting of rock fragments of various sizes and shapes that have been broken, tumbled and cemented together in sudden geologic event (e.g., a landslide, a flashflood or even an impact-cratering event). If it were not for the dark sandy dunes dispersed through out the sub-image, this image could easily fool an expert into thinking that this image is actually a photograph of a hand sample of an impact breccia. The prefix "mega" implies that the breccia in the sub-image consists of clasts, or rock fragments, that are typically larger than a large house or a building. The rectangular megaclast near the center of the image is a colossal 50 x 25 meters (~150 X 75 feet). As mentioned in the transition image caption for Holden crater (TRA_000861_1530), the crater likely experienced extensive modification by running water, which is supported by observations of drainage and deposition into the crater from a large channel (Uzboi Valles) breaching Holden's southwest rim. While it is possible that the megabreccia formed from a catastrophic release of water into the crater, a more likely possibility is that it formed from the impact that created the approx. 150 km-in-diameter Holden crater. Popigai Crater, a terrestrial crater of half the size of Holden, possesses a similar occurrence of megabreccia with a similar range in megaclast size to the Holden crater example. An impact-generated megabreccia deposit, as observed in terrestrial craters, typically lies beneath the crater floor, so the exhumation of the megabreccia may be the result of down-cutting and erosion of water that once flowed through Uzboi Valles.
Holden Crater Megabreccia: A Telltale Sign of a Sudden and Violent Event
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Radar View of Layering near Mars' North Pole, Orbit 1512
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Radar View of Layering near Mars' South Pole, Orbit 1334
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Clay at Nili Fossae
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