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Click to enlargeCerberus Hemisphere Photo

Cerberus Hemisphere
Mars Viking 1 Mosaic
Point Perspective

Mosaic of the Cerberus hemisphere of Mars projected into point perspective, a view similar to that which one would see from a spacecraft. This mosaic is composed of 104 Viking Orbiter images acquired on February 11, 1980. At that time, it was early northern summer on Mars. The center of the image is at latitude 3 degrees, longitude 185 degrees.

A major geologic boundary extends across this mosaic, with the lower third of the image showing ancient cratered highlands; north of this boundary are the lowland northern plains. A series of poorly-indurated sedimentary deposits occur just north of the highland-lowland boundary; some workers believe that these are explosive volcanic deposits (ignimbrites) whereas others have postulated that they are paleo-polar deposits. Other prominent features in this image include the large dark area left of the image center (named Cerberus), and the Elysium volcanic region.

Thin white clouds are dispersed over the northern hemisphere, and the opaque cloud in the upper right overlies the Olympus Mons Aureole. The arcuate markings west of the Aureole are thought to be extended drift of windblown material. The bright blue area at the bottom of the picture shows the extent of the seasonal carbon dioxide polar cap.

Credits: NASA/USGS

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