Topography of Isidis Planitia
|Region||North of Hellas Planitia, east of Syrtis Major Planum|
|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 ; Isidis Planitia is partly in the Syrtis Major quadrangle and partly in the Amenthes quadrangle. 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. 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.
A study reported in Icarus, described the complex geologic history of parts of Isidis, especially areas near the Deuteronilus contact. This contact is the supposed edge of a vast Martian ocean. The researchers found evidence of a Late Hesperian/Early Amazonian Sea in the area. The sea would have quickly froze over. Eskers formed under the ice.
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.
- 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
- Erkelinga, G., D. Reissa, H. Hiesingera, M.A. Ivanovb, E. Hauberc, H. Bernhardta. Landscape formation at the Deuteronilus contact in southern Isidis Planitia, Mars: Implications for an Isidis Sea? Icarus:242, 329–35
- 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
- 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.
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