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Animation: Flight over the central part of Valles Marineris. Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum).
Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum).
20. December 2011


This animation shows a flight over the region of the Chasmata Melas, Candor and Ophir in the central part of Valles Marineris. ‘Chasma’ (= Greek for "fissure/canyon", plural ‘chasmata’) refers to deep valleys and canyons on Mars and Venus bound by steep cliff faces. Valles Marineris is a huge rift valley system over 4000 kilometres in length, 200 kilometres wide and up to 11 kilometres deep. Images from 13 HRSC orbits were used for the sequence shown.

The graphics were generated using the LightWave software package. Because of the size of the original mosaic (25 metres per pixels for the image data from the nadir channel, the HRSC camera system channel directed vertically onto the surface of Mars), the mosaic needed to be down-sampled to 50 metres per pixel for the image data animation.

The shown animation was generated at the Institute for Geological Sciences at the Freie Universität Berlin and published there as 'Highlights of the Month' in 2011. They present special Mars products obtained using the HRSC camera on board Mars Express.