Released 1 July 2003
An example of dalmatian terrain near the south pole. The bright material is polar ice and the dark spots dark sands that are appearing in depressions where the ice has defrosted to reveal underlying material. Interestingly, there is an almost continuous dark band around the edges of many of the depressions. This could be a clue to the nature of the sand deposits in polar regions. The sand forms dunes in a range of sizes and shapes. Near the top of the image the dunes shrink until they are smaller than the 18 m pixels of the THEMIS camera and seem to disappear into the surrounding ice.
Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -66.6, Longitude 36 East (324 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.