Volcanic ash in Meridiani Planum
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Volcanic ash in Meridiani Planum

May 13, 2010
Meridiani Planum, at the northern edge of the southern highlands of Mars, lies between the volcanic Tharsis Region to the west and the low-lying Hellas Planitia impact basin to the south-east. Through a telescope, Meridiani Planum is a striking, dark feature, close to the martian equator. It extends 127 km by 63 km and covers an area of roughly 8000 sq km, about the size of Cyprus. This dark material probably resembles volcanic ash, which is predominantly composed of minerals such as pyroxene and olivine.

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