Gale Crater in IR Color

Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

This image shows two representations of the same infrared image of Gale Crater. On the left is a grayscale image showing surface temperature, and on the right is a false-color composite made from 3 individual THEMIS bands. The false- color image is colorized using a technique called decorrelation stretch (DCS), which emphasizes the spectral differences between the bands to highlight compositional variations.
In the bottom of the crater, surrounding the central mound, there are extensive basaltic sand deposits. The basaltic sand spectral signature combined with the warm surface (due to the low albedo of basaltic sand) produces a very strong pink/ magenta color. This color signature contrasts with the green/ yellow color of soil and dust in the top of the image, and the cyan color due to the presence of water ice clouds at the bottom of the image. This migrating sand may be producing the erosional features seen on the central mound.

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


Image ID: 
I01494001 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2002-04-16 05:46
Wed, 2004-08-04
320 pixels (31 km)
2278 pixels (229 km)
0.100618 km/pixel
0.098157 km/pixel


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