NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft captured this image in July 2003, showing valley networks, a relatively common feature in the southern highlands of Mars.

Released 30 July 2003

Valley networks are a relatively common feature in the southern highlands of Mars. This THEMIS visible image contains several of these small channels. Some appear clustered near the smaller crater at the top of the image. There is still some debate over the origin of these enigmatic martian landforms. Were they caused by overland flow after precipitation, underground sapping, or a combination of both?

Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -40.6, Longitude 165.2 East (194.8 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.

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.

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