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When a large impact occurs it vaporizes the surface and deposits hot debris around the newly formed crater as shown in this image captured by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft.
When a large impact occurs it vaporizes the surface and deposits hot debris around the newly formed crater as shown in this image captured by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft.

Wind Erosion

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity took this stereo view of a crater informally named 'Freedom 7' shortly before the 50th anniversary of the first American in space: astronaut Alan Shepard's flight in the Freedom 7 spacecraft. You need 3-D glasses.
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity took this stereo view of a crater informally named 'Freedom 7' shortly before the 50th anniversary of the first American in space: astronaut Alan Shepard's flight in the Freedom 7 spacecraft. You need 3-D glasses.

Martian 'Freedom 7' Crater 50 Years After Freedom 7 Flight (Stereo)

This map of a portion of the western rim of Endeavour Crater on Mars shows the path of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity as the rover is driving from the 'Cape York' segment of the rim to its next destination, the 'Solander Point' segment.
This map of a portion of the western rim of Endeavour Crater on Mars shows the path of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity as the rover is driving from the 'Cape York' segment of the rim to its next destination, the 'Solander Point' segment.

Southbound Opportunity, June 2013

This 360-degree, full-resolution panorama from NASA's Curiosity rover shows the area all around the rover within Gale Crater on Mars. The rover's deck is to the left and far right.
This 360-degree, full-resolution panorama from NASA's Curiosity rover shows the area all around the rover within Gale Crater on Mars. The rover's deck is to the left and far right.

Crisp View from Inside Gale Crater

This image from NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft shows different surface textures in some of the lava flows of Daedalia Planum.
This image from NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft shows different surface textures in some of the lava flows of Daedalia Planum.

Daedalia Planum

This graphic maps locations of the sites where NASA's Curiosity collected its first 19 rock or soil samples for analysis by laboratory instruments inside the vehicle. It also presents images of the drilled holes where 15 rock-powder samples were acquired.
This graphic maps locations of the sites where NASA's Curiosity collected its first 19 rock or soil samples for analysis by laboratory instruments inside the vehicle. It also presents images of the drilled holes where 15 rock-powder samples were acquired.

Curiosity's Rock or Soil Sampling Sites on Mars, Through November 2016

This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft covers some of the plains south of Capri Chasma in eastern Valles Marineris.
This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft covers some of the plains south of Capri Chasma in eastern Valles Marineris.

The Plains are Not Plain

This image captured by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft shows both linear and sinuous channel forms.
This image captured by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft shows both linear and sinuous channel forms.

Olympica Fossae

This image captured by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft shows part of a complex region of channels which dissect the margin of Arabia Terra where elevations lower into Acidalia Planitia.
This image captured by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft shows part of a complex region of channels which dissect the margin of Arabia Terra where elevations lower into Acidalia Planitia.

Channels

The THEMIS VIS camera contains 5 filters. The data from different filters can be combined in multiple ways to create a false color image. This image from NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft shows a highland surrounded by the lava flows of Daedalia Planum.
The THEMIS VIS camera contains 5 filters. The data from different filters can be combined in multiple ways to create a false color image. This image from NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft shows a highland surrounded by the lava flows of Daedalia Planum.

Daedalia Planum - False Color

This image captured by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft shows part of the dune field on the floor of Proctor Crater.
This image captured by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft shows part of the dune field on the floor of Proctor Crater.

Proctor Crater Dunes

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, working on Mars since January 2004, passed marathon distance in total driving on March 24, 2015.
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, working on Mars since January 2004, passed marathon distance in total driving on March 24, 2015.

Opportunity Rover's Full Marathon-Length Traverse

The THEMIS VIS camera contains 5 filters. The data from different filters can be combined in multiple ways to create a false color image. This false color image from NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft shows an unnamed crater in Utopia Planitia.
The THEMIS VIS camera contains 5 filters. The data from different filters can be combined in multiple ways to create a false color image. This false color image from NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft shows an unnamed crater in Utopia Planitia.

Utopia Planitia - False Color

This is a map of lower Mount Sharp on Mars, showing the major geologic units identified from orbit. The rocks of the 'Murray Formation,' mapped in green, likely represent the oldest layers of Mount Sharp that NASA's Curiosity rover will explore.
This is a map of lower Mount Sharp on Mars, showing the major geologic units identified from orbit. The rocks of the 'Murray Formation,' mapped in green, likely represent the oldest layers of Mount Sharp that NASA's Curiosity rover will explore.

Map of Lower Mount Sharp

Many gullies are located on the northern rim of this unnamed crater in Noachis Terra as seen by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft. Small dunes are located on the floor of the crater (lower left side of image).
Many gullies are located on the northern rim of this unnamed crater in Noachis Terra as seen by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft. Small dunes are located on the floor of the crater (lower left side of image).

Gullies

This pair of images taken a few minutes apart show how laser firing by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity removes dust from the surface of a rock. The images were taken by the remote micro-imager camera in the laser-firing Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam).
This pair of images taken a few minutes apart show how laser firing by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity removes dust from the surface of a rock. The images were taken by the remote micro-imager camera in the laser-firing Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam).

Curiosity's ChemCam Removes Dust

The lava flows in image from NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft are part of the vast flow field originating from Arsia Mons.
The lava flows in image from NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft are part of the vast flow field originating from Arsia Mons.

Arsia Mons Flows

A regional dust storm visible in the southern hemisphere of Mars in this nearly global mosaic of observations made by the Mars Color Imager on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 25, 2012, has contracted from its size a week earlier.
A regional dust storm visible in the southern hemisphere of Mars in this nearly global mosaic of observations made by the Mars Color Imager on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 25, 2012, has contracted from its size a week earlier.

Regional Dust Storm Weakening, Nov. 25, 2012

This color thumbnail image was obtained by NASA's Curiosity rover and is representative of the images acquired once the Curiosity rover was resting on the surface of Mars after touchdown.
This color thumbnail image was obtained by NASA's Curiosity rover and is representative of the images acquired once the Curiosity rover was resting on the surface of Mars after touchdown.

Curiosity Color Close-Up upon Landing

These dunes are located on the floor of an unnamed crater south of Vinogradov Crater. This image was captured by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft.
These dunes are located on the floor of an unnamed crater south of Vinogradov Crater. This image was captured by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft.

Dunes of Arabia Terra

This close-up view of a mineral vein called 'Homestake' comes from the microscopic imager on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity; the vein is found to be rich in calcium and sulfur, possibly the calcium-sulfate mineral gypsum.
This close-up view of a mineral vein called 'Homestake' comes from the microscopic imager on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity; the vein is found to be rich in calcium and sulfur, possibly the calcium-sulfate mineral gypsum.

Close-up View of 'Homestake' Vein

This image captured by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft shows part of an unnamed crater in Noachis Terra.
This image captured by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft shows part of an unnamed crater in Noachis Terra.

Dunes and Gullies

Data graphed here from the CheMin instrument on NASA's Mars Curiosity rover show a difference between clay minerals in powder drilled from mudstone outcrops at two locations, 'Yellowknife Bay' and 'Murray Buttes' in Mars' Gale Crater.
Data graphed here from the CheMin instrument on NASA's Mars Curiosity rover show a difference between clay minerals in powder drilled from mudstone outcrops at two locations, 'Yellowknife Bay' and 'Murray Buttes' in Mars' Gale Crater.

Detecting a Difference in Clay Minerals at Two Gale Crater Sites

The yellow triangles on this graph indicate concentrations of the elements titanium and silicon in selected rock targets with high silica content analyzed by the APXS instrument on NASA's Curiosity rover in Mars' Gale Crater.
The yellow triangles on this graph indicate concentrations of the elements titanium and silicon in selected rock targets with high silica content analyzed by the APXS instrument on NASA's Curiosity rover in Mars' Gale Crater.

Silicon and Titanium Correlation in Selected Rocks at Gale Crater, Mars

The graph at right presents information from the NASA Curiosity Mars rover's onboard analysis of rock powder drilled from the 'Buckskin' target location, shown at left.
The graph at right presents information from the NASA Curiosity Mars rover's onboard analysis of rock powder drilled from the 'Buckskin' target location, shown at left.

'Buckskin' Drill Hole and CheMin X-ray Diffraction

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