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2001 Mars Odyssey
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Polar Maps of Thermal and Epithermal Neutrons
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Global Map of Thermal Neutrons
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Global map of epithermal neutrons
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This lunar-like scene occurs along the southeastern rim of the Isidis Planitia basin. The Isidis basin is an ancient impact crater some 1200 km across that is found along the boundary separating the heavily-cratered southern highland terrain of Mars from the northern lowlands. Elements of both terrains are evident in this image as an island of rugged highland terrain surrounded by smoother lowland terrain. The resurfacing of the Isidis basin produced a system of wrinkle ridges, some of which are seen on the lowland terrain in the image. Wrinkle ridges are a common feature on the surface of the moon and add to the lunar-like quality of this image. Layers are visible in the large island, the most resistant of which likely are from lava flows that created the highland terrain. The process by which the global-scale highland/lowland dichotomy was created remains a mystery.
Isidis Rim
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This image is near the southern edge of a low, broad volcanic feature called Syrtis Major. A close look at this image reveals a wrinkly texture that indicates a very rough surface that is associated with the lava flows that cover this region. On a larger scale, there are numerous bright streaks that trail topographic features such as craters. These bright streaks are in the wind shadows of the craters where dust that settles onto the surface is not as easily scoured away. It is important to note that these streaks are only bright in a relative sense to the surrounding image. Syrtis Major is one of the darkest regions on Mars and it is as dark as fresh basalt flows or dunes are on Earth.
Syrtis Major
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First THEMIS Image of Mars
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