Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Flight around Nili Fossae – Special PR #1 2024

This film was created using the Mars Express High-Resolution Stereo Camera Mars Chart (HMC30) data, an image mosaic made from single orbit observations of the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC).

YouTube PlanetarySciences

Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

The mosaic image is combined with topography information from the digital terrain model (DTM) to generate a three-dimensional landscape. For every second of the movie 50 separate frames are rendered following a pre-defined camera path in the scene. The vertical exaggeration used for the animation is 3. Atmospheric effects, i.e. clouds and haze have been added to conceal the limits of the terrain model. The haze starts building up at 50 km distance. The HRSC camera on Mars Express is operated by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The systematic processing of the camera data took place at the DLR Institute for Planetary Research in Berlin-Adlershof. The working group of Planetary Science and Remote Sensing at Freie Universität Berlin used the data to create the film shown here.

The film starts with an approach from the south flying in northern direction, then turning back towards south. The film ends zooming out into a plan view. Note that Jezero Crater is visible in the lower central portion of the final scene!

Nili Fossae is a group of large, concentric grabens on Mars located in the Syrtis Major quadrangle. The grabens of Nili Fossae stretch for several hundred kilometers along the eastern side of the massive impact basin Isidis Planitia, forming a concentric pattern that runs parallel to the basin's boundary; this suggests that the rifts originated due to tensile tension resulting from settling in the Martian crust after the Isidis impact. 

The edge of the crater experienced extreme tensile stress and the crust finally cracked as huge, iron-rich lava deposits drove the multi-kilometer deep basin further down. Analogous stress ruptures are observed at Amenthes Fossae, the counterpart of Nili Fossae, on the opposite side of the impact basin. In recent years, spectrometer observations from orbit have focused heavily on Nili Fossae due to the wide variety of minerals that have been discovered in this area. They include amorphous silicates, carbonates and clay minerals. The original rock's minerals have undergone several transformations due to the presence of water throughout Martian history. It is believed that this water not only flowed over Mars' surface but was also active, forming hydrothermal solutions below the surface that were heated by volcanic activity.

Download HRSC

High Resolution Stereo Camera

The High Resolution Stereo Camera was developed at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and built in collaboration with partners in industry (EADS Astrium, Lewicki Microelectronic GmbH and Jena-Optronik GmbH). The science team, which is headed by Principal Investigator (PI) Dr. Daniela Tirsch, consists of 52 co-investigators from 34 institutions and 11 countries. The camera is operated by the DLR Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin-Adlershof.

Images: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

Copyright Notice:

Where expressly stated, images are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO (CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO) licence. The user is allowed to reproduce, distribute, adapt, translate and publicly perform it, without explicit permission, provided that the content is accompanied by an acknowledgement that the source is credited as 'ESA/DLR/FU Berlin', a direct link to the license text is provided and that it is clearly indicated if changes were made to the original content. Adaptation / translation / derivatives must be distributed under the same license terms as this publication.

To download released raw images and DTMs of the region in GIS-ready formats, follow this link to the mapserver.