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Mare Frigoris Constellation Region of Interest
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Mare Frigoris Constellation Region of Interest

November 30, 2012
Portions of Mare Frigoris, like the area near the Constellation region of interest outlined below, are so high in reflectance they're considered "light plains." Light plains can form in several different ways: through volcanism, with a composition even lower in iron and titanium; as the result of impact basin ejecta, which acts as a fluid, filling in topographic lows; or as ancient volcanic plains that were subsequently covered with a thin layer of highlands material ejected from nearby craters or basins which masks the true basaltic surface (a hidden, or "cryptomare"). Small craters like the one above excavate material from below the surface, and can help discern whether or not the material there is distinct in composition (as would be expected for cryptomare). Sampling this material would provide a definitive resolution to the geologic history of this fascinating region. A WAC image showing the 40x40 km box centered on the Frigoris region of interest. Arrow indicates the location of the NAC image above. Image number M119673851ME. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University