Apollinaris Patera caldera in false colour
Science & Exploration

Ancient caldera in Apollinaris Patera

09/06/2006 1969 views 2 likes
ESA / Science & Exploration / Space Science / Mars Express

These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, show the caldera of Apollinaris Patera, an ancient, 5-kilometre-high volcano northwest of Gusev Crater.

Map showing Apollinaris Patera in context
Map showing Apollinaris Patera in context

The HRSC obtained these images during orbit 987 with a ground resolution of approximately 11.1 metres per pixel. The images show part of Apollinaris Patera, a volcano lying at approximately 7.2° South and 174.6° East.

Apollinaris Patera is an ancient shield volcano located at the northern edge of the Southern Highlands, lying to the south-east of Elysium Planitia and to the north of Gusev Crater, which is now being explored by NASA's Mars Rover, Spirit.

The volcano measures approximately 180 by 280 kilometres at its base and rises to a maximum of 5 kilometres above the surrounding terrain.

Apollinaris Patera caldera (north to the right)
Apollinaris Patera caldera (north to the right)

Shield volcanos are large volcanic structures with gently sloping flanks. The caldera of Apollinaris Patera takes the form of a large crater approximately 80 kilometres in diameter and up to 1 kilometre deep. Volcanic calderas are formed when a volcano explodes or when the cone collapses.

In the true-colour image, the terrain is partly covered by thin, diffuse, whitish-appearing clouds. In the false-colour image, the clouds appear as bluish-tinted areas.

Apollinaris Patera caldera, black and white
Apollinaris Patera caldera, black and white

The western region of the colour image (top of the image, as north is to the right) is characterized by brighter material, which seems to be layered and could be the result of sedimentary deposition. Distinct layering, causing a terrace-like appearance, is also visible east of this brighter material and in the relatively flat region located in the northwest (top right) of the colour image.

Apollinaris Patera caldera, 3D anaglyph
Apollinaris Patera caldera, 3D anaglyph

The colour scenes have been derived from the three HRSC-colour channels and the nadir channel. The anaglyph image was calculated from the nadir and one stereo channel. Image resolution has been decreased for use on the internet.

For more information on Mars Express HRSC images, please read our updated FAQ (frequently asked questions).

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