mars-express

The Syrtis Major Volcanic Province - The Martian Surface

Acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA’s Mars Express Satellite, this image depicts a detailed region of the Martian Nili Fossae Graben system. This system is an area of great interest to geologists due to the variety of its landscape. The graben system contains numerous troughs, plateaus, impact craters and depressions. Planetary Scientists are actively studying the data collected from ESA’s Mars Express through images similar to this.

Credit & Copyright: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

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hannah: Surface of Mars, photographed by Mars Express, 25th November 2005.

Image runs from 32°S 201°E about 710 km due south across the Terra Sirenum highlands to 44°S 201°E. The Sirenum Fossae run across the top of the 2nd image. The 5th and 6th images show a central section of the 300 km-wide Newton Crater, including what looks like part of the central peak complex (notice dunes, dark blue, on the left hand side).

Composite of 3 visible light images for colour, and one monochrome image for detail. Colour balance is not naturalistic.

Image credit: ESA. Composite: AgeOfDestruction.

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Mars South Pole

With a ground resolution of about 1 km per pixel at the closest point to the surface, ESA’s Mars Express captured this phenomenal view of the Red Planet’s south polar ice cap, cratered highlands and Hellas Basin.

The image was acquired by the high-resolution stereo camera on ESA’s Mars Express on 25 February 2015. It is a ‘broom calibration’ image, acquired while the spacecraft performed a maneuver such that its camera pans over the surface far above the planet, at about 9 900 km.

via ESA

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Mars in 3D

Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) allow scientists to ‘stand’ on planetary surfaces. Although ordinary images can give spectacular bird’s-eye views, they can only convey part of the picture. They miss out on the topography, or the vertical elevation of the surroundings. That’s where Mars Express comes in.

The DTM can instantly tell researchers the slope of hillsides or the height of cliffs, the altitude and slope of lava flows or desert plains. It also helps planetary scientists to better interpret other data sets, for example the results of the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS).

The Mars Express DTM is the most detailed topographic data set ever released for Mars. Its release has been made possible by processing individual image swaths taken by the HRSC as Mars Express sweeps through its orbit. The individual swaths are then put together into mosaics that cover large regions. The high-resolution images used have a resolution of 10 m/pixel. The DTM elevation data derived from these images is provided in pixels of up to 50 m, with a height accuracy of 10 m.

The orbit of Mars Express determines the resolution of its pictures. When it is closest to the surface, it can take the most detailed pictures.

Credit: ESA

Mars south pole and beyond by European Space Agency
Via Flickr :
This sweeping view by ESA’s Mars Express extends from the planet’s south polar ice cap and across its cratered highlands to the Hellas Basin (top left) and beyond. Click here for an annotated image. The image was acquired by the high-resolution stereo camera on ESA’s Mars Express on 25 February 2015. It is a ‘broom calibration’ image, acquired while the spacecraft performed a manoeuvre such that its camera pans over the surface far above the planet, at about 9 900 km. The ground resolution is about 1 km per pixel at the closest point to the surface. The image was created using data from the nadir channel, the field of view of which is aligned perpendicular to the surface of Mars, and the colour channels of HRSC. These channels have been co-registered using ‘markers’ on the surface, such as a mountain or dark spot, to achieve a common geometry. That is, for each colour channel, these markers are overlain to produce the colour image. This process is not needed for ‘normal’ nadir observations because the geometry is known here, unlike in this broom observation. Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO Copyright Notice: Where expressly stated, images are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO (CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO) licence. The user is allowed to reproduce, distribute, adapt, translate and publicly perform it, without explicit permission, provided that the content is accompanied by an acknowledgement that the source is credited as ‘ESA/DLR/FU Berlin’, a direct link to the licence text is provided and that it is clearly indicated if changes were made to the original content. Adaptation/translation/derivatives must be distributed under the same licence terms as this publication.

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Martian Latte - a Mosaic of the South Pole of Mars
Photo by ESA/G. Neukum (Freie Universitaet, Berlin)/Bill Dunford 

The Mars Express orbiter has been circling the fourth rock from the Sun for 10 years now, taking thousands of observations. Bill Dunford collected quite a few of those images and created this jaw-dropping mosaic of the south pole of Mars. It’s not quite what the eye would see; what’s shown as red is actually near infrared, invisible to us but easily seen by the camera on the spacecraft. Kilometers-thick water ice covers the pole, capped itself by a layer of carbon dioxide ice a few meters thick. That is mixed with the rusty dust eternally blowing in the Martian winds, creating what looks more like something you’d order at a coffee shop rather than the frigid nether regions of a nearby world

FROM The Universe in pictures: The best space photos of 2013 by Phil Plait
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Mars Express Image of the Martian North Pole
A mosaic of 57 separate pictures, enough to cover the 1,000-kilometer-wide (600-mile-wide) ice cap // Photo by ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum) image processing by F. Jansen (ESA)

On June 2, 2003, the European Space Agency launched the Mars Express probe to the red planet. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of launch, the ESA released this devastating picture of the north polar ice cap of Mars. 

The ice there is mostly water ice, permanently frozen. However, there’s a thin layer of frozen carbon dioxide—dry ice—that coats it every winter and sublimates (turns directly from a solid into a gas) every summer.

That means the ice cap changes all the time, making it a target of study.

From Bad Astronomy

Mars Express Orbiter Buzzes Martian Moon Phobos

On Sunday, at 5:17 p.m. GMT (12:17 p.m. EST), Europe’s Mars Express orbiter successfully completed a daring low-pass of Mars’ largest moon Phobos. In an effort to precisely measure the gravitational field of the moon, the 10 year-old mission was sent on a trajectory that took it only 45 kilometers (28 miles) from the dusty surface, the closest any spacecraft has ever come to the natural satellite. Read more

flickr

Cappuccino swirls at Mars’ south pole by European Space Agency

Mars south pole and beyond by europeanspaceagency on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
This sweeping view by ESA’s Mars Express extends from the planet’s south polar ice cap and across its cratered highlands to the Hellas Basin (top left) and beyond. Click here for an annotated image.

The image was acquired by the high-resolution stereo camera on ESA’s Mars Express on 25 February 2015. It is a ‘broom calibration’ image, acquired while the spacecraft performed a manoeuvre such that its camera pans over the surface far above the planet, at about 9 900 km.

The ground resolution is about 1 km per pixel at the closest point to the surface. The image was created using data from the nadir channel, the field of view of which is aligned perpendicular to the surface of Mars, and the colour channels of HRSC. These channels have been co-registered using ‘markers’ on the surface, such as a mountain or dark spot, to achieve a common geometry. That is, for each colour channel, these markers are overlain to produce the colour image. This process is not needed for ‘normal’ nadir observations because the geometry is known here, unlike in this broom observation.

Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Copyright Notice:
Where expressly stated, images are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO (CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO) licence. The user is allowed to reproduce, distribute, adapt, translate and publicly perform it, without explicit permission, provided that the content is accompanied by an acknowledgement that the source is credited as ‘ESA/DLR/FU Berlin’, a direct link to the licence text is provided and that it is clearly indicated if changes were made to the original content. Adaptation/translation/derivatives must be distributed under the same licence terms as this publication.

Made with Flickr

Hebes Chasma

Hebes Chasma is an enclosed, almost 8 km-deep trough stretching 315 km in an east–west direction and 125 km from north to south at its widest point. It sits about 300 km north of the vast Valles Marineris canyon. A flat-topped mesa is located in the centre of Hebes Chasma, which was likely shaped by the action of wind and water.

Image credits: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

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gwen: Surface of Mars, photographed by Mars Express, 22nd August 2007.

Image runs southwest from 71°S 56°E, just south of the Dorsa Brevia, to 80°S 34°E, just west of the Promethei Rupes; about 615 km. The dunes (dark blue) in the 4th image are inside Main Crater (Robert Main, astronomer, 1808-1878).

Composite of 3 visible light images for colour, and one monochrome image for detail. Colours are relative, not naturalistic.

Image credit: ESA. Composite: AgeOfDestruction.

Battered Tharsis Tholus Volcano On Mars |

The latest image released from Mars Express reveals a large extinct volcano that has been battered and deformed over the aeons.

By Earthly standards, Tharsis Tholus is a giant, towering 8 km above the surrounding terrain, with a base stretching over 155 x 125 km. Yet on Mars, it is just an average-sized volcano. What marks it out as unusual is its battered condition.

Shown in images taken by the HRSC high-resolution stereo camera on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft, the volcanic edifice has been marked by dramatic events.

At least two large sections have collapsed around its eastern and western flanks during its four-billion-year history and these catastrophes are now visible as scarps up to several kilometres high. continue reading

Hebes Chasma:This martian abyss, more than 4 times as wide and deep as the Grand Canyon, is an enclosed, almost 8 km-deep trough stretching 315 km in an east–west direction and 125 km from north to south at its widest point. It sits about 300 km north of the vast Valles Marineris canyon.

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The intriguing mounds of Juventae Chasma revealed by Mars Express 

Intriguing mounds of light-toned layered deposits sit inside Juventae Chasma, surrounded by a bed of soft sand and dust.

The origin of the chasma is linked to faulting associated with volcanic activity more than 3 billion years ago, causing the chasma walls to collapse and slump inwards, as seen in the blocky terrain in the right-hand side of this image.

At the same time, fracturing and faulting allowed subsurface water to spill out and pool in the newly formed chasm. Observations by ESA’s Mars Express and NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show that the large mounds inside the chasma consist of sulphate-rich materials, an indication that the rocks were indeed altered by water.

The mounds contain numerous layers that were most likely built up as lake-deposits during the Chasma’s wet epoch. But ice-laden dust raining out from the atmosphere – a phenomenon observed at the poles of Mars – may also have contributed to the formation of the layers.

While the water has long gone, wind erosion prevails, etching grooves into the exposed surfaces of the mounds and whipping up the surrounding dust into ripples.

The image was taken by the high-resolution stereo camera on ESA’s Mars Express on 4 November 2013 (orbit 12 508), with a ground resolution of 16 m per pixel. The image centre is at about 4°S / 298°E.

Credits: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

The Martian North Pole

This space image shows the north polar ice cap of Mars, presented as a mosaic of 57 separate images from the High Resolution Stereo Camera on ESA’s Mars Express. Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin–G. Neukum) image processing by F. Jansen (ESA)
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te coule un drôle de regard: Surface of Mars, photographed by Mars Express, 23rd December 2008.

1°N to 14°S, 64°E on the Terra Tyrrhena. For scale, Verlaine Crater - divided between the 5th and 6th images - is about 40 km across. The crater at bottom left of the 7th image is only a few degrees north of this gif.

Verlaine Crater is named after Verlaine, a village of about 3,500, rather than the groundbreaking queer poet Paul-Marie Verlaine (1844-1896). Curiously the IAU record the village as being in France, while it appears to be in the largely French-speaking Walloon Region of Belgium.

Composite of 3 visible light images for colour, and 1 monochrome image for detail. 

Image credit: ESA. Composite: AgeOfDestruction.