Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology JPL HOME EARTH SOLAR SYSTEM STARS & GALAXIES SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY BRING THE UNIVERSE TO YOU JPL Email News RSS Podcast Video
JPL Banner
2001 Mars Odyssey
Home Participate


read the article 'Erisa Hines'
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
read the article 'Buzz Aldrin'
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
read the article 'Women in Science'
02.12.2016 Women in Science
read the article 'Ravi Vallis'
08.03.2012 Ravi Vallis
read the article 'Dao Valles'
08.03.2012 Dao Valles
read the article 'Lismore Crater'
07.17.2012 Lismore Crater
read the article 'Bunge Crater Dunes'
04.01.2012 Bunge Crater Dunes
read the article 'Shalbatana Vallis'
04.01.2012 Shalbatana Vallis
read the article 'Meridiani Planum'
04.01.2012 Meridiani Planum
read the article 'Canyon Junction'
04.01.2012 Canyon Junction
read the article 'Terra Sirenum'
04.01.2012 Terra Sirenum
read the article 'Echus Chasma'
01.23.2012 Echus Chasma
read the article 'Elysium Mons'
01.10.2012 Elysium Mons
read the article 'Tyrrhena Fossae'
12.26.2011 Tyrrhena Fossae
read the article 'Tempe Terra'
08.27.2010 Tempe Terra
read the article 'Aonia Terra Dunes'
10.26.2009 Aonia Terra Dunes
read the article 'Dark Spots'
07.22.2009 Dark Spots
read the article 'Dark Spots and Fans'
07.22.2009 Dark Spots and Fans
read the article 'Mars Canyon View'
07.22.2009 Mars Canyon View
read the article 'Landslide Run-Out'
07.22.2009 Landslide Run-Out
read the article 'Terra Sirenum'
07.22.2009 Terra Sirenum

First THEMIS Image of Mars

First THEMIS Image of Mars

This thermal infrared image was acquired by Mars Odyssey's thermal emission imaging system on October 30, 2001, as the spacecraft orbited Mars on its ninth revolution around the planet. The image was taken as part of the calibration and testing process of the camera system.

This image shows the temperature of Mars in one of the 10 thermal infrared filters. The spacecraft was approximately 22,000 kilometers (about 13,600 miles) above the planet looking down toward the south pole of Mars when this image was acquired.

It is late spring in the martian southern hemisphere. The extremely cold, circular feature shown in blue is the martian south polar carbon dioxide ice cap at a temperature of about -120 °C (-184 ° F). The cap is more than 900 kilometers (540 miles) in diameter at this time and will continue to shrink as summer progresses. Clouds of cooler air blowing off the cap can be seen in orange extending across the image to the left of the cap. The cold region in the lower right portion of the image shows the nighttime temperatures of Mars, demonstrating the "night-vision" capability of the camera system to observe Mars even when the surface is in darkness. The warmest regions occur near local noontime. The ring of mountains surrounding the 900-kilometer (540-mile) diameter impact basin Argyre can be seen in the early afternoon in the upper portion of the image. The thin blue crescent along the upper limb of the planet is the martian atmosphere.

This image covers a length of over 6,500 kilometers (3,900 miles) spanning the planet from limb to limb, with a resolution of approximately 5.5 kilometers per pixel (3.4 miles per pixel), or picture elements, at the point directly beneath the spacecraft. The Odyssey's infrared camera is planned to have a resolution of 100 meters per pixel (about 300 feet per pixel) from its mapping orbit.

JPL manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The thermal emission imaging system was developed at Arizona State University, Tempe with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing, Santa Barbara, Calif. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, Colo., is the prime contractor for the project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University

All Images