Nili Fossae, once considered a potential landing spot for the Mars Science Laboratory, has one of the largest, most diverse exposures of clay minerals as seen by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
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A Large, Banded Angular Fragment in Nili Fossae

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In a Context Camera (CTX) image, there is a large angular fragment that appears to have light and dark-toned bands. HiRISE images of similar fragments nearby also show this banding, and the resolution of our camera may help determine what these layers are.

Nili Fossae was once considered a potential landing spot for the Mars Science Laboratory, and has one of the largest, most diverse exposures of clay minerals. Clay minerals contain water in their mineral structure and may preserve organic materials.

HiRISE is one of six instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image details

ID#:
PIA17909

Date added:
2014-03-26

Target:
Mars

Mission:
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Spacecraft:
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Instruments:
High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE)

Rating:



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163

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA17909.tif (15.56 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA17909.jpg (0.96 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona