Investigating Mars: Kaiser Crater Dunes

January 24, 2018

Context image for PIA22173
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This VIS image of Kaiser Crater shows individual dunes and where the dunes have coalesced into longer dune forms. The addition of sand makes the dunes larger and the intra-dune areas go from sand-free to complete coverage of the hard surface of the crater floor. With a continued influx of sand the region will transition from individual dunes to a sand sheet with surface dune forms.

Kaiser Crater is located in the southern hemisphere in the Noachis region west of Hellas Planitia. Kaiser Crater is just one of several large craters with extensive dune fields on the crater floor. Other nearby dune filled craters are Proctor, Russell, and Rabe. Kaiser Crater is 207 km (129 miles) in diameter. The dunes are located in the southern part of the crater floor.

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!

Orbit Number: 1423 Latitude: -46.9573 Longitude: 18.6192 Instrument: VIS Captured: 2002-04-10 16:44

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

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, 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.

Credit

NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

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