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Yardangs in the Medusae Fossae Formation

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 portion of an outcrop of the Medusae Fossae Formation, a series of light-toned terrains in the Martian mid-latitudes. The Medusae Fossae has been and remains one of the most enigmatic features on Mars. The unit is characterized by wind-sculpted landforms, most notably eroded ridges known as yardangs. The composition of the Medusae Fossae is not known, but candidates include indurated (hardened) volcanic ash or remnants of dust-ice mixtures that formed in a different Martian climate. This HiRISE image reveals new details of the Medusae Fossae.

Image TRA_000828_1805 was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft on Sunday, 01 October 2006. The complete image is centered at 0.5 degrees latitude, 142.1 degrees East longitude. The range to the target site was 270.1 km (168.8 miles). At this distance the image scale ranges from 27.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) to 108.1 cm/pixel (with 4 x 4 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 3:27 PM and the scene is illuminated from the west with a solar incidence angle of 55 degrees, thus the sun was about 35 degrees above the horizon. At a solar longitude of 113.7 degrees, the season on Mars is Northern Summer.

HiRISE Product ID: TRA_000828_1805_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 Product Pixel Dimensions File Size
Thumbnail JPG 512 x 1604 500 KBytes
Full Scale JPG 3021 x 9467 10 MBytes
Products for Sub-Image of TRA_000828_1805_IRB
Image Product Pixel Dimensions File Size
Thumbnail JPG 512 x 301 56.5 KBytes
Browse Scale JPG 2048 x 1207 691.1 KBytes
Full Scale JPG 22541 x 13286 45.3 MBytes
Products for TRA_000828_1805_RED
Additional Resources Learn more about HiRISE at these sites: