The large sand sheets and dunes observed in this image from NASA's Mars Odyssey are located near the north pole of Mars. Changes in surface albedo across the image are likely due to variable thicknesses of dark sand that covers lighter surfaces.


The large sand sheets and dunes observed in this THEMIS image are located near the north pole of Mars. Changes in surface albedo across the image are likely due to variable thicknesses of dark sand that cover lighter surfaces. Layering of units is observed near the top of the image and is evidence to changing conditions throughout the geologic history of Mars.

Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey 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 information: VIS instrument. Latitude 37.1, Longitude 15.3 East (19.1 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

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