The eroded, layered deposit in this NASA Mars Odyssey image of Gale Crater is a mound of material rising 3 km (about 2 miles) above the crater floor. It has been sculpted by wind and possibly water to produce the dramatic landforms seen today.


The eroded, layered deposit in Gale Crater is a mound of material rising 3 km above the crater floor. It has been sculpted by wind and possibly water to produce the dramatic landforms seen today. The origin of the sedimentary material that composes the mound remains a contested issue: was it produced from sedimentation in an ancient crater lake or by airfall onto dry land?

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 -5.1, Longitude 137.5 East (222.5 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

View all Images