Investigating Mars: Kaiser Crater Dunes

January 26, 2018

Context image for PIA22175
Context image

This VIS image of Kaiser Crater shows a region of the dunes with varied appearances. The different dune forms developed due to different amounts of available sand, different wind directions, and the texture of the crater floor. Dune size, shape, and spacing is controlled by a variety of factors. Note the dune that fills half of the crater in the center of the image.

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 71000 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: 14953 Latitude: -46.7919 Longitude: 18.4314 Instrument: VIS Captured: 2005-04-28 12:59

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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