The circular depressions prevalent throughout this scene from NASA's Mars Odyssey at first glance appear to be craters, but are they? Could they be pits formed by devolatilization? It is not clear. Scientists are studying these features in search of answe


Released 10 April 2003

The circular depressions prevalent throughout this scene at first glance appear to be craters, but are they? Could they be pits formed by devolatilization? It is not clear. We are studying these features in search of answers. Once again, another example of a Martian mystery.

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 39.4, Longitude 40.9 East (319.1 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

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