05.15.2017 From 'Tribulation' to 'Perseverance' on Mars
03.29.2017 A Decade of Compiling the Sharpest Mars Map
03.09.2017 Back-to-Back Martian Dust Storms
02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
01.25.2017 Blade-Like Martian Walls Outline Polygons
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
03.21.2016 For a Decade Orbiting Mars: One Recent View
03.09.2016 For a Decade Orbiting Mars: One Recent View
03.09.2016 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter By the Numbers
03.01.2016 MRO sees Frosty Spring Slopes
02.12.2016 Women in Science
02.10.2016 Wind at Work
11.16.2015 Change Observed in Martian Sand Dune
10.05.2015 'The Martian' Story's Ares 4 Landing Site
10.05.2015 The Ares 3 Landing Site (Figure A)
09.30.2015 Avalanche Ho!
06.29.2015 Mars Exploration Zone Layout Considerations
06.17.2015 Active High-Latitude Dune Gullies
06.03.2015 Crisp Crater in Sirenum Fossae
05.20.2015 Sedimentary Rock Layers on a Crater Floor
05.20.2015 Honey, I Shrunk the Mesas
05.11.2015 Icy Wonderland
05.04.2015 Diverse Orbits Around Mars
03.27.2015 South Pole Spiders
03.27.2015 A Smile a Day....
03.25.2015 Pitted Landforms in Southern Hellas Planitia
03.12.2015 Curiosity Heading Away from 'Pahrump Hills'
02.18.2015 Lava Flow Near the Base of Olympus Mons
02.09.2015 Yardangs in Arsinoes Chaos, Mars
02.04.2015 Curiosity Rover at 'Pahrump Hills'
01.22.2015 Frost on Crater Slope
Context Camera for Mars Reconnaissance OrbiterThe Context Camera (CTX) will make observations simultaneously with the high-resolution images collected by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) and data collected by the mineral-finding Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM).
As its name suggests, CTX will provide the wider context for the data collected by the other two instruments. Its resolution may not be as great, but it provides a picture over a broader area. Scientists will examine details of rocks and mineral fields with the other instruments, but CTX will provide a bigger-picture view of the terrain in which they occur.
Together HiRISE, CRISM, and CTX will provide an extremely powerful tool set. For example, many of the layered terrains observed by the Mars Orbital Camera on the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft could be water-deposited sediments. However, they could also be layers of volcanic lavas or ash, or wind-deposited sediments. By combining information on any small-scale layers observed by HiRISE, the geologic context from CTX, and the mineralogical information derived from CRISM, it should be possible to distinguish between these possibilities.
From 400 kilometers (250 miles) above Mars, CTX will take images of terrain that span 40 kilometers (25 miles) across. The camera will have a resolution of 8 meters per pixel.
The team lead and supplier of CTX is Mike Malin from Malin Space Science Systems.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech