Blue is my favorite color. Especially the shade of blue in the image for this week’s “Where In The Universe” challenge. It’s just such an uplifting color. But back to the challenge. The goal of this challenge is to test your skills and knowledge of our solar system. Guess where this image is from, and give yourself extra points if you can guess which spacecraft is responsible for the image. As always, don’t peek below before you make your guess. Comments on how you did are welcome.
This image was taken by the HiRISE Camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It shows the central uplift within an impact crater to the west of Nili Fossae on Mars. Planetary scientists love to see central uplifts, because they provide rare views of the rock types that exist miles beneath the modern-day surface of Mars. The impact process has shuffled different rock types into a disorganized array known as impact breccia.
This is an enhanced color image, to help discern between the different types of rock. Some of the materials that appear dark blue are probably patches of sand overlying the lighter-toned breccia.
Central uplifts are features that form on the floor of an impact crater shortly after the impact occurs. The craterâ€™s central floor rebounds upward, forming a ring of hills and raising deeply buried rocks up to Martian surface. Infrared spectrometers such as THEMIS and CRISM have found that some of the rocks in this craterâ€™s central uplift contain minerals that are intriguing and atypical for Mars, such as quartz, clays, and other water-bearing silicate minerals.
This image is just part of a larger swath taken by HiRISE. This portion of the image shows some of the central uplift rocks in fine detail. Blocks measuring from a few meters to over a hundred meters (10 to over 300 feet) across have coloration differences, suggesting that their compositions are different. Some of the largest blocks are internally layered, implying that they are blocks of sedimentary rock.
How did you do?