"Victoria Crater" at Meridiani PlanumVictoria Crater, HiRISE Product ID TRA_000873_1780_RGBcolor
This HiRISE image shows "Victoria Crater," an impact crater at Meridiani Planum, near the equator of Mars. The crater is approximately 800 meters (about half a mile) in diameter. It has a distinctive "scalloped" shape to its rim, caused by erosion and downhill movement of crater wall material. Layered sedimentary rocks are exposed along the inner wall of the crater, and boulders that have fallen from the crater wall are visible on the crater floor. The floor of the crater is occupied by a striking field of sand dunes.
Since January, 2004, the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been operating at Meridiani Planum. Five days before this image was taken, Opportunity arrived at the rim of Victoria Crater, after a drive of more than 9 km (over 5 miles).
Image TRA_000873_1780 was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft on October 3, 2006. Shown here is a portion of the complete image. The complete image is centered at -2.1 degrees latitude, 354.5 degrees East longitude. The range to the target site was 269 km (168 miles). At this distance the image scale is 27 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~81 cm across are resolved. The image was taken at a local Mars time of 3:28 PM and the scene is illuminated from the west with a solar incidence angle of 56.2 degrees, thus the sun was about 33.8 degrees above the horizon. At a solar longitude of 115.3 degrees, the season on Mars is Northern Summer.
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.