ISRO releases image of Mars’ Arabia Terra


New Delhi: Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has released an image of Mars’ Arabia Terra region in full coloured resolution.

According to Wikipedia, Arabia Terra is a large upland region in the north of Mars in that lies mostly in the Arabia quadrangle, but a small part is in the Mare Acidalium quadrangle. It is densely cratered and heavily eroded. This battered topography indicates great age, and Arabia Terra is presumed to be one of the oldest terrains on the planet.

The image was taken from ISRO’s Mars Colour Camera (MCC) that is on board India’s Mars Orbiter Spacecraft, Mangalyaan at an altitude of 14893 km with a resolution of 774 m.

Gill Crater, on the other hand, is an impact crater in the Arabia quadrangle of Mars. The crater was named after an amateur astronomer, Walter Frederick Gale, from Australia, who observed Mars in the late 19th century.

According to DNA, Arabia Terra might also have been  a historic spot for Martian super volcanoes because the crust there is strangely thin, making it a good spot for magma to seep through. On Earth, a super volcano is defined as a volcano that can produce at least 1000 cubic kilometres of volcanic materials in an eruption which are thousands of times larger than ‘normal’ volcanic eruptions. These are powerful enough to alter global climate.

One of MCC’s scientific objectives is to image the surface features of Mars with varying resolution and scales using the unique elliptical orbit. This includes the craters, mountains, valleys, sedimentary features, volcanic features, rift valleys, mega faults etc. on the surface of the Mars.

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