PIA10138: Location of Sites Within 'Cryptic Terrain'
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
 Spacecraft:  Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter
 Instrument:  MOLA
Thermal Emission Spectrometer 
 Product Size:  753 x 697 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Arizona State University
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA10138.tif (1.577 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA10138.jpg (111.7 kB)

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A regional landscape near Mars' south pole is called "cryptic terrain" because it once defied explanation, but new observations bolster and refine interpretations of how springtime outbursts of carbon-dioxide gas there sculpt intricate patterns and paint seasonal splotches. This map indicates locations of three sites that have been examined within the area of cryptic terrain, informally designated "Manhattan," "Giza" and "Ithaca."

The underlying map offers context of brightness measurements from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer instrument draped over a shaded relief map based on data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter instrument. Cool colors are areas with a low albedo (dark) and warm colors are areas which have high albedo (bright). Both of those instruments flew on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter.

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