NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured some amazing images of Mars Mesa, a flat-topped mountain on the Red Planet which is surrounded by wind-ruffled sand. This mountain is -.25 miles wide, and it is located in the Noctis Labyrinthus. This region is at the western end of Valles Marineris canyon system. The Martian canyon system is approximately 2,500 miles long, covering 20% of the circumference of the Red Planet.
Mars Mesa was captured with the help of HiRISE camera on MRO
NASA officials stated on April 12 that the layered Mesa is extremely eroded and it also has a cluster of sand dunes on its surface. The Mars Mesa may consist of deposits of sediments that are exhumed during the erosion process. These layers are visible, being perceived as faint rings along the lower left edge of the mountain. MRO has taken some pictures using the High-Resolution Imagining Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera.
This device can pick out characteristics and details which have the size of a coffee table. The HiRISE is very accurate and can spot any detail at the surface of the Red Planet. NASA representatives argued that the scale of the image measures 19.7 inches. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission was launched back in August 2005. The spacecraft reached Mars in March 2006. Starting in November 2006, the rover has continuously circled the planet in a near-polar orbit whose altitude varied from 155 to 196 miles.
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter still orbits around the Red Planet
The spaceship has kept on searching for signs of life, trying to find evidence whether past water existed there. The orbiter is also responsible for examining the climate and geology of the Red Planet, tracking suitable landing sites for future Mars missions. MRO also represents a significant communications broadcast for other spaceship orbiting Mars or robots located on its surface, like the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers.
The Opportunity craft has been exploring the Red Planet since 2014. For the last 30 months, the robot was located at Cape Tribulation, an area close to the rim of the Endeavour Crater. Opportunity rover was able to reveal an outcrop of minerals which look similar to clay, but also some other amazing erosion patterns. Now, NASA plans to send this rover down to Perseverance Valley.
By exploring that area, the robot will be able to establish whether that land feature was carved by water or by the wind. We keep our fingers crossed, hoping that scientists will finally announce that they discovered traces of past water on the surface of Mars.
Image courtesy of: jpl nasa