The layered interior of Gale crater, Mars

The layered interior of Gale crater, Mars
The layered interior of Gale crater, Mars Gale crater, like Gusev crater, sits near the dichotomy boundary between Mars' southern highlands and northern lowlands. Its interior is filled with layer upon layer of rocks standing 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles) higher than the northern crater floor, but it is unknown whether these are sediments came in with ancient floods, or lava flows, or windblown ash deposits. This image is composed of Mars Odyssey THEMIS images taken in both daytime and nighttime. The daytime images give the topographic detail; color from the nighttime images indicates the quality of the rock. Blue to white colors indicate fine-grained materials like sand and dust; they grade into redder colors where bedrock is exposed. Gale was one candidate landing site for the Mars Exploration Rover mission, and will be a candidate again for Mars Science Laboratory in 2009. The image covers an area 50.9 by 53.9 kilometers (31.6 by 33.5 miles) in extent, at a resolution of 18 meters per pixel. Source NASA / JPL-Caltech / Arizona State University

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