Noctis Labyrinthus, labyrinth of the night

Nov 30, 2007
Noctis Labyrinthus
This image was taken by the High-Resolution Stereo Camera, onboard ESA's Mars Express imaged the Noctis Labyrinthus region, the 'Labyrinth of the Night' on Mars. The HRSC took these pictures on June 25, 2006, in orbit 3155, with a ground resolution of approximately 16 m/pixel. This color scene has been derived from the three HRSC color channels and the nadir channel. Credit: ESA/ DLR/ FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

These images taken by the High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC), onboard ESA’s Mars Express imaged the Noctis Labyrinthus region, the ‘labyrinth of the night’ on Mars.

The HRSC took these pictures on 25 June 2006 in orbit 3155, with a ground resolution of approximately 16 m/pixel.

Noctis Labyrinthus lies at approximately 6.5° south and 260° east. The Sun illuminates the scene from the north-west, top right in the image above.

The region is located directly on the western edge of Valles Marineris, the ‘Grand Canyon’ of Mars. The closely-spaced, deeply incised, smaller, labyrinth-like fractures are eye-catching.

Noctis Labyrinthus forms part of a complex graben-system. This system formed due to extensional tectonics. During the process, intense volcanism in the Tharsis region led to the formation of a bulge, resulting in tectonic stress. This caused the crust to thin out and form graben structures, which are elongated, trench-like features bounded by parallel normal faults. As one can clearly see in the context map, the upper portion of the martian crust in this area is largely fractured.

The scene in the picture exhibits parts of those graben structures that have 5000-m deep incisions. They are strongly eroded, and this can be seen from the debris at the bottom of the graben. Younger rock-formations can be seen on the upper-edge of the graben.

The sharpened colour image has 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 image was derived from the nadir channel, which provides the highest level of detail.

Special, stereoscopic glasses are required to view the anaglyph (3D) image.

Source: European Space Agency

Explore further: Bad weather delays SpaceX launch with 3-D printer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Internet moguls Musk, Bezos shake up US space race

6 hours ago

The space race to end America's reliance on Russia escalated this week with a multibillion dollar NASA award for SpaceX's Elon Musk and an unexpected joint venture for Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos.

Winter in the southern uplands of Mars

Sep 19, 2014

Over billions of years, the southern uplands of Mars have been pockmarked by numerous impact features, which are often so closely packed that they overlap. One such feature is Hooke crater, shown in this ...

Five facts about NASA's ISS-RapidScat

Sep 19, 2014

NASA's ISS-RapidScat mission will observe ocean wind speed and direction over most of the globe, bringing a new eye on tropical storms, hurricanes and typhoons. Here are five fast facts about the mission.

User comments : 0