Released 17 June 2003
This stunning THEMIS visible image was acquired in "etched terrain" near the south pole of Mars. In several places in this image there are large areas with many dark spots. These spots have been noticed to appear and disappear as the seasons progress on Mars. As the southern hemisphere of Mars gets warmer, carbon dioxide frost present in this terrain sublimates, leaving behind the dark spots.
Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -73.5, Longitude 351.3 East (8.7 West). 19 meter/pixel resolution.
Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.