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First HiRISE Image of Mars from Mapping Orbit: Ius Chasma, Valles Marineris

This color image covers only the center swath of the full image, and is composed of images acquired through infrared, red, and blue-green filters. The color has been enhanced to better show the subtle color differences. It is not natural color or how it would appear to normal human vision.

This image covers a small portion of the floor of Ius Chasma, one branch of the giant Valles Marineris system of canyons. The image illustrates a variety of processes that have shaped the Martian surface. There are bedrock exposures of layered materials, which could be sedimentary rocks deposited in water or from the air. Some of the bedrock has been faulted and folded, perhaps the result of large-scale forces in the crust or from a giant landslide. The darker unit of material at right includes many rocks. The image resolves rocks as small as 90 cm (3 feet) in diameter.

Image TRA_000823_1720 was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft on Sunday, 30 September 2006. The complete image is centered at -7.7 degrees latitude, 279.5 degrees East longitude. The range to the target site was 264.0 km (165.0 miles). At this distance the image scale ranges from 26.4 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) to 52.8 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning). The image shown here [below] has been map-projected to 25 cm/pixel and north is up. The image was taken at a local Mars time of 3:29 PM and the scene is illuminated from the west with a solar incidence angle of 60 degrees, thus the sun was about 30 degrees above the horizon. At a solar longitude of 113.5 degrees, the season on Mars is Northern Summer.

HiRISE Product ID: TRA_000823_1720_RED

Images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment and additional information about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are available online at:




For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.

Image ProductPixel DimensionsFile Size
Thumbnail JPG 512 x 33051 MByte
Full Scale JPG 3021 x 1950030 MBytes
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Image ProductPixel DimensionsFile Size
Thumbnail JPG512 x 49480 KBytes
Browse JPG2048 x 20421.3 MBytes
Full Scale JPG23444 x 23377111.8 MBytes
Products for TRA_000823_1720_RED
Additional Resources Learn more about HiRISE at these sites: