Ancient Lava Plain in Thaumasia Planum
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Ancient Lava Plain in Thaumasia Planum

March 18, 2007

This image samples part of an ancient lava plain in Thaumasia Planum. The stack of lava flows has been folded into ridges the size of a chain of hills, as can be seen in the center of the image.

The lava and the ridge has been degraded by erosion. The numerous craters and dunes attest to two of the erosional processes—meteorite impacts and the wind.

Observation Geometry

Image PSP_002432_1525 was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft on 01-Feb-2007. The complete image is centered at -27.4 degrees latitude, 294.8 degrees East longitude. The range to the target site was 252.7 km (157.9 miles). At this distance the image scale is 25.3 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~76 cm across are resolved. The image shown here has been map-projected to 25 cm/pixel and north is up. The image was taken at a local Mars time of 03:47 PM and the scene is illuminated from the west with a solar incidence angle of 62 degrees, thus the sun was about 28 degrees above the horizon. At a solar longitude of 176.7 degrees, the season on Mars is Northern Summer.

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