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The So-Called 'Face On Mars' In Infrared

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    NHNE News List Current Members: 657 Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message. ... Thanks to Jim Torson. ... THE SO-CALLED FACE ON
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 27 11:37 PM
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      NHNE News List
      Current Members: 657
      Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message.


      Thanks to Jim Torson.


      ASU THEMIS Science Team
      July 24, 2002


      This set of THEMIS infrared images shows the so-called "face on Mars"
      landform located in the northern plains of Mars near 40° N, 10° W (350 ° E).
      The "face" is located near the center of the image approximately 1/6 of the
      way down from the top, and is one of a large number of knobs, mesas, hills,
      and buttes that are visible in this THEMIS image. The THEMIS infrared camera
      has ten different filters between 6.2 and 15 micrometers - nine view the
      surface and one views the CO2 atmosphere. The calibrated and geometrically
      projected data from all of the nine surface-viewing filters are shown in
      this figure. The major differences seen in this region are due to
      temperature effects -- sunlit slopes are warm (bright), whereas those in
      shadow are cold (dark), The temperature in this scene ranges from -50 °C
      (darkest) to -15 °C (brightest). The major differences between the different
      filters are due to the expected variation in the amount of energy emitted
      from the surface at different wavelengths. Minor spectral differences
      (infrared 'color') also exist between the different filters, but these
      differences are small in this region due to the uniform composition of the
      rocks and soils exposed at the surface.

      The THEMIS infrared camera provides an excellent regional view of Mars -
      this image covers an area 32 kilometers (~20 miles) by approximately 200
      kilometers (~125 miles) at a resolution of 100 meters per picture element
      ('pixel'). This image provides a broad perspective of the landscape and
      geology of the Cydonia region, showing numerous knobs and hills that have
      been eroded into a remarkable array of different shapes. In this "big
      picture" view the Cydonia region is seen to be covered with dozens of
      interesting knobs and mesas that are similar in many ways to the knob named
      the "face" - so many in fact that it requires care to discover the "face"
      among this jumble of knobs and hills. The 3-km long "face" knob was first
      imaged by the Viking spacecraft in the 1970's and was seen by some to
      resemble a face carved into the rocks of Mars. Since that time the Mars
      Orbiter Camera on the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft has provided detailed
      views of this hill that clearly show that it is a normal geologic feature
      with slopes and ridges carved by eons of wind and downslope motion due to
      gravity. Many of the knobs in Cydonia, including the "face", have several
      flat ledges partway up the hill slopes. These ledges are made of more
      resistant layers of rock and are the last remnants of layers that once were
      continuous across this entire region. Erosion has completely removed these
      layers in most places, leaving behind only the small isolated hills and
      knobs seen today.

      Email <images@...>


      Note: this THEMIS infrared image has not been radiometrically nor
      geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical
      correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift
      has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate
      spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically
      projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in
      accordance with Project policies at a later time.

      NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for
      NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission
      Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in
      collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS
      investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University.
      Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the
      Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are
      conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the
      California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

      Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Arizona State University


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