Utopia Planitia

Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

This image is located in Utopia Planitia, a large plain in the northern hemisphere. It is believed that this basin is the result of a large impact. On the right side of the image is a partially imaged crater with a well-preserved ejecta blanket. The morphology of the ejecta implies that the crater is young relative to the surrounding material and has not undergone extensive deposition or erosion. Surrounding the crater are polygonal troughs in the smooth surface material. This polygon pattern is relatively common in the northern plains of Mars, and are primarily located in Acidalia Planitia, Elysium Plantia, and Utopia Planitia. These troughs are believed to be small graben, however, scientist are currently debating the origin of these features. The two most accepted hypotheses are that these graben either form as volcanic material cools and contracts, or are produced as sediment shrinks as a result of compaction.

Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images. 


Image ID: 
V01482006 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2002-04-15 07:49
Wed, 2002-05-15
1024 pixels (19 km)
3648 pixels (68 km)
0.018887 km/pixel
0.019024 km/pixel


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