Monday, August 30, 2010

Mars’s mysterious elongated crater

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Orcus Patera on Mars
Orcus Patera on Mars in 3D

 Orcus Patera is an enigmatic elliptical depression located between the volcanoes of Elysium Mons and Olympus Mons. 
This well-defined depression extends approximately 380 km by 140 km in a NNE––SSW direction. 
It has a rim that rises up to 1800 m above the surrounding plains, while the floor of the depression lies 400–600 m below the surroundings. 
ESA’s Mars Express obtained image data of this region on 5 and 11 October 2005 using the High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC). 
The data were acquired during orbits 2216 and 2238 and with a ground resolution of approximately 30 m per pixel. Combining data from the nadir channel and one stereo channel of HRSC produced this 3D image. 
Stereoscopic glasses are required to see the 3D effect.

Orcus Patera is an enigmatic elliptical depression near Mars’s equator, in the eastern hemisphere of the planet. Located between the volcanoes of Elysium Mons and Olympus Mons, its formation remains a mystery... read more: esa.int

Credits: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)