Lighter colors represent higher elevation in this image of Jezero Crater on Mars, the landing site for NASA's Mars 2020 mission. The oval indicates the landing ellipse, where the rover will be touching down on Mars. The color added to this image helps the crater rim stand out clearly, and makes it easier to spot the shoreline of a lake that dried up billions of years ago.
Scientists want to visit this shoreline because it may have preserved fossilized microbial life, if any ever formed on Mars.
The image was created using data from a combination of instruments and spacecraft: NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and its Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA); NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and its Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) and Context Camera (CTX); and the European Space Agency's Mars Express and its High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC).
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, led the work to build the CRISM instrument and operates CRISM in coordination with an international team of researchers from universities, government and the private sector. Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego built and operates CTX. MOLA was built and operated by a team headed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.