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HRSC Press Release #242 - Hour Glass Movies (orbit 0451)
Hourglass-shaped crater - new videos and perspectives
Perspective view #2
Video and accompanying images, made up of images taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, show an unusual flow deposit on the floors of two adjacent impact craters in the eastern Hellas Planitia region which are indicative of possible glacial processes. The stereo capability of the HRSC allows to animate 3-D images, based on digital elevation models. The image data have been acquired during Mars Express orbit 451 from an altitude of 590 kilometres with an original resolution of 29 metres per pixel.
Movie #1 (96 MBs)
The unusual hourglass-shaped structure is located in the southern-hemisphere highland terrain of Promethei Terra at the eastern rim of the Hellas Basin, at about latitude 38º South and longitude 104º East. Most likely the surface morphology is formed by the creep of ice and debris, similar to either terrestrial rock glacier landforms or debris covered glaciers which are commonly found in high latitudes and alpine regions. Talus material and ice-rich debris accumulated at the base of the remnant massif and filled the upper bowl-shaped impact crater which has a width of approximately nine kilometres. The debris-ice mixture then flowed through a breach in the crater rim into a 17 kilometre wide crater, 500 metres below, taking advantage of downward slope.
Perspective view #1
Of particular interest is the age of these surfaces, which seem to be fairly intact over a wide area. It has been shown recently that there is some evidence that glaciers were shaping the Martian surface at mid latitudes and even near the equator until a few million years ago. Typical evidence for a significant loss of volatiles, such as pits and other depressions can be observed on all debris surfaces surrounding the remnant massif. The statistical analysis of the number of craters formed by meteorite impacts used for age determination also shows that part of the surface with its present-day glacial characteristics was formed only a few million years ago.
Movie #3 (176 MBs)
The colour scenes have been derived from the three HRSC-colour channels and the nadir channel. The perspective views have been calculated from the digital terrain model derived from the stereo channels. The anaglyph image was calculated from the nadir and one stereo channel. The black and white high resolution images were derived form the nadir channel which provides the highest detail of all channels.
Das Kameraexperiment HRSC auf der Mission Mars Express der
Europäischen Weltraumorganisation ESA wird vom Principal Investigator Prof. Dr.
Gerhard Neukum (Freie Universität Berlin), der auch die technische Konzeption der
hochauflösenden Stereokamera entworfen hatte, geleitet. Das
Wissenschaftsteam besteht aus 40 Co-Investigatoren aus 33 Institutionen und zehn
Nationen. Die Kamera wurde am Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) unter der
Leitung des Principal Investigators (PI) G. Neukum entwickelt und in Kooperation mit
industriellen Partnern gebaut (EADS Astrium, Lewicki Microelectronic GmbH und Jena
-Optronik GmbH). Sie wird vom DLR -Institut für Planetenforschung in Berlin-Adlershof
betrieben. Die systematische Prozessierung der Daten erfolgt am DLR. Die Darstellungen
wurden vom Institut für Geologische Wissenschaften der FU Berlin in Zusammenarbeit
mit dem DLR-Institut für Planetenforschung erstellt.
hochaufgelöste Bilddaten / high resolution image data
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© Copyright: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)