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Northern Terra Meridianis Monument Valley
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Northern Terra Meridiani's Monument Valley

October 28, 2003
The image shown here is a composite of two pictures, the first taken October 23, 2000, the second acquired by pointing the spacecraft off-nadir on May 15, 2001. This view shows four buttes and a pinnacle (near left-center) composed of eroded, layered rock. The four buttes are each capped by the remains of a single layer of rock that is harder than the materials beneath it. It is the presence of this caprock that has permitted these buttes to remain standing after surrounding materials were eroded away. Like the buttes of Monument Valley in the Navajo Nation on the Arizona/Utah border, these are believed to consist of sedimentary rocks, perhaps deposited in water or by wind, though some scientists have speculated that they could be made of thick accumulations of volcanic ash. The image covers an area approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) across and is illuminated by sunlight from the left. To see the image in 3-D, red (left-eye) and blue (right-eye) "3-D" glasses are required.


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