Isidis Planitia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Isidis Planitia
Isidis basin topo.jpg
Topography of Isidis Planitia
Planet Mars
Region North of Hellas Planitia, east of Syrtis Major Planum
Coordinates 12°54′N 87°00′E / 12.9°N 87.0°E / 12.9; 87.0Coordinates: 12°54′N 87°00′E / 12.9°N 87.0°E / 12.9; 87.0
Diameter 1,500 km (930 mi)
Eponym Isis is the Egyptian goddess of heaven and fertility.

Isidis Planitia is a plain located inside a giant impact basin on Mars, centered at 12°54′N 87°00′E / 12.9°N 87.0°E / 12.9; 87.0. It is the third biggest obvious impact structure on the planet after the Hellas and Argyre basins – it is about 1,500 km (930 mi) in diameter. Isidis was likely the last major basin to be formed on Mars, having formed approximately 3.9 billion years ago during the Noachian Period.[1] Due to dust coverage, it typically appears bright in telescopic views, and was mapped as a classical albedo feature, Isidis Regio, visible by telescope in the pre-spacecraft era.

The Beagle 2 lander was about to land in the eastern part of Isidis Planitia in December 2003 when contact with the craft was lost. Just to the west of Isidis is Syrtis Major Planum, a low-relief shield volcano that is a prominent dark albedo feature of Mars, which formed after the basin.[2]

Around the Isidis basin magnesium carbonate was found by MRO. This mineral indicates that water was present and that it was not acidic, pH conditions more favorable for the evolution of life.[3]

The name "Isidis Planitia" follows the earlier name Isidis Regio ("Isis' Region"). Isis is the Egyptian goddess of heaven and fertility.

MOLA colorized topographic map showing Isidis Planitia (right) and the adjacent low-relief shield volcano Syrtis Major Planum (left).


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ritzer, J.; Hauck, S. (June 2009), "Lithospheric structure and tectonics at Isidis Planitia, Mars", Icarus 201 (2): 528–539, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2009.01.025 
  2. ^ Hiesinger, H.; Head, J. W. (publications) (2004-01-08), "The Syrtis Major volcanic province, Mars: Synthesis from Mars Global Surveyor data", Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 109 (E1): E01004, Bibcode:2004JGRE..10901004H, doi:10.1029/2003JE002143, E01004 
  3. ^ Murchie, S. L.; Mustard, J. F.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Milliken, R. E.; Bishop, J. L.; McKeown, N. K.; Noe Dobrea, E. Z.; Seelos, F. P.; Buczkowski, D. L.; Wiseman, S. M.; Arvidson, R. E.; Wray, J. J.; Swayze, G.; Clark, R. N.; Des Marais, D. J.; McEwen, A. S.; Bibring, J.-P. (February 2009). "A synthesis of Martian aqueous mineralogy after 1 Mars year of observations from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter". Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 114 (E2). Bibcode:2009JGRE..114.0D06M. doi:10.1029/2009JE003342. ISSN 0148-0227. 

External links[edit]