NASA’s Mars Orbiter Views a Small Mesa in Noctis Labyrinthus

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Views a Small Mesa in Noctis Labyrinthus

The HiRISE instrument on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured a great view of a small mesa on the surface of Mars.

In this newly released image, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a small (0.4 kilometer) mesa surrounded by sand dunes in Noctis Labyrinthyus – an extensively fractured region on the western end of Valles Marineris.

Heavily eroded, with clusters of boulders and sand dunes on its surface, this layered mesa is probably comprised of sedimentary deposits that are being exhumed as it erodes. The layers themselves are visible as faint bands along the lower left edge of the mesa.

The map is projected here at a scale of 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) per pixel. The original image scale is 20.7 centimeters (19.6 inches) per pixel (with 2 x 2 binning); objects on the order of 158 centimeters (62.2 inches) across are resolved. North is up.

1 Comment on "NASA’s Mars Orbiter Views a Small Mesa in Noctis Labyrinthus"

  1. What are the blue boulders in a small smudge/area inside the western edge of the mesa? They look so different. All the rest of the image reminds me of a photomicrograph of etched and polished iron but those boulders appear like cinders or blued steel.

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