The remarkable terrain at the 'center' of Mars (0 degrees latitude and longitude), as seen in this NASA Mars Odyssey image, is called Meridiani Planum. It hosts a rare occurrence of gray crystalline hematite.

The remarkable terrain at the "center" of the planet (0 degrees latitude and longitude) is called Meridiani Planum. It hosts a rare occurrence of gray crystalline hematite that will be visited by one of the two Mars Exploration Rovers leaving Earth this June. Just to the ENE of the hematite deposit is the eroded, layered terrain seen in this image, which lacks spectral evidence for hematite.

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 2.3, Longitude 3.6 East (365.4 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

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