Investigating Mars: Melas Chasma

Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

Melas Chasma is part of the largest canyon system on Mars, Valles Marineris. At only 563 km long (349 miles) it is not the longest canyon, but it is the widest. Located in the center of Valles Marineris, it has depths up to 9 km below the surrounding plains, and is the location of many large landslide deposits, as will as layered materials and sand dunes. There is evidence of both water and wind action as modes of formation for many of the interior deposits. This VIS image shows part of a large ridge of material near the south central part the canyon. The roughest looking material is the top of the ridge.

The Odyssey spacecraft has spent over 15 years in orbit around Mars, circling the planet more than 69000 times. It holds the record for longest working spacecraft at Mars. THEMIS, the IR/VIS camera system, has collected data for the entire mission and provides images covering all seasons and lighting conditions. Over the years many features of interest have received repeated imaging, building up a suite of images covering the entire feature. From the deepest chasma to the tallest volcano, individual dunes inside craters and dune fields that encircle the north pole, channels carved by water and lava, and a variety of other feature, THEMIS has imaged them all. For the next several months the image of the day will focus on the Tharsis volcanoes, the various chasmata of Valles Marineris, and the major dunes fields. We hope you enjoy these images!

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


Image ID: 
V16741003 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2005-09-22 17:54
Wed, 2017-11-29
1024 pixels (18 km)
3648 pixels (63 km)
0.01752 km/pixel
0.0177732 km/pixel


PNG | JPEG (high res) | JPEG (reduced res) | PDF | TIFF