Released 5 August 2003
Because it does not rain on Mars, the wind is free to shape the surface to the extent that it becomes clear even in spacecraft images. This image shows parallel grooves oriented north to south, slowly eroded by winds of the same alignment. At the bottom of the image, a round mesa is most likely an inverted crater--that is, a crater that has withstood the wind erosion to such a degree that it remains on the surrounding plains as a protruding structure, rather than a hole in the ground.
Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -12, Longitude 177.3 East (182.7 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.