A Martian Christmas Present

Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

This THEMIS image covers a portion of the Isidis Basin at the center of an elliptical region predicted to be the location that Beagle 2 will bounce to the surface. The surface is pockmarked by strange pits and unusual cones whose origin remains enigmatic. The cones may be the result of lava flowing over ice or water-rich ground resulting in explosions of steam that build small rootless volcanoes. The pits look like secondary craters that result from the impact of ejecta from larger craters. But they appear too numerous and densely clustered for that explanation. Instead, they also may be the result of some process involving water or ice. With luck, Beagle 2 will survive its violent landing and provide clues to the origin of this unusual landscape and answer questions about the role of water in Mars history. UPDATE: Contact with Beagle 2 was never established after landing. It is likely that Beagle 2 crashed into the surface of Mars.

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


Image ID: 
V05739010 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2003-03-31 18:02
Wed, 2003-12-24
1024 pixels (18 km)
3648 pixels (65 km)
0.018019 km/pixel
0.01815 km/pixel


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