NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft captured this image in August 2003, showing an area not too far south of Meridiani where the mineral hematite was found on the Martian surface.

Released 28 August 2003

This image shows an area not too far south of Meridiani, the area where the mineral hematite was found on the Martian surface. In the center of the image the terrain becomes quite rugged, where a great amount of material has eroded away, leaving behind buttes and mesas. Note how some of the mesas are quite circular. This is an example of "inverted terrain," in which a topographically low feature, like a crater or a trench, becomes filled in with material. Later, the surrounding terrain erodes away while the feature protects the material filling it. These circular mesas are most likely inverted craters that were once holes in the ground.

Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -28.2, Longitude 8.7 East (351.3 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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