Green Valley (Mars)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Green Valley
PSP 001497 2480 RED detail 25cm.jpg
HiRISE image of a patch of land in the Green Valley region showing scattered small boulders and a polygonal fracture pattern.
Coordinates 68°21′N 233°00′E / 68.35°N 233°E / 68.35; 233Coordinates: 68°21′N 233°00′E / 68.35°N 233°E / 68.35; 233
Naming Informal name based on danger assessment map color

Green Valley is a region on Mars within Vastitas Borealis that was chosen as the landing site of NASA's Phoenix lander. It is located at 68.35 degrees north, 233 degrees east. The valley is about 50 kilometres wide but only about 250 metres deep; either it was filled in or was never any deeper than that. The edges are not visible from the middle of the valley.[1]

Polygonal patterns at Phoenix landing site

The name "Green Valley" is not officially recognised by the International Astronomical Union. It came from the decision process by which it was selected as Phoenix's landing site: prospective landing areas were color-coded based on how hazardous they were, with red being most hazardous through yellow to green being the safest.[1] Green Valley has relatively few of the large boulders that could potentially have tipped the lander if it had hit one during touchdown.[2]

The ground within Green Valley is covered with polygonal features several metres across and roughly ten centimetres high, thought to be caused either by thermal contraction (ice-wedge polygons) or by the effects of wind-blown dust (sand-wedge polygons). Water ice is thought to be just below the surface.[1] During the local winter as much as three feet of carbon dioxide ice is expected to appear on the surface.[3]

Shortly before Phoenix's scheduled landing, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter photographed a pair of kilometer-tall dust devils in the Green Valley area.[4]


Further reading[edit]

Acidalia Planitia Acidalia Planitia Alba Mons Amazonis Planitia Aonia Terra Arabia Terra Arcadia Planitia Arcadia Planitia Argyre Planitia Elysium Mons Elysium Planitia Hellas Planitia Hesperia Planum Isidis Planitia Lucas Planum Lyot Crater Noachis Terra Olympus Mons Promethei Terra Rudaux Crater Solis Planum Tempe Terra Terra Cimmeria Terra Sabaea Terra Sirenum Tharsis Montes Utopia Planitia Valles Marineris Vastitas Borealis Vastitas BorealisMap of Mars
Interactive imagemap of the global topography of Mars, overlain with locations of Mars landers and rovers (Red label = Rover; Blue label = Lander; bold red/blue = currently active). Hover your mouse to see the names of over 25 prominent geographic features, and click to link to them. Coloring of the base map indicates relative elevations, based on data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor. Reds and pinks are higher elevation (+3 km to +8 km); yellow is 0 km; greens and blues are lower elevation (down to −8 km). Whites (>+12 km) and browns (>+8 km) are the highest elevations. Axes are latitude and longitude; Poles are not shown.
Beagle 2
Beagle 2 (2003)
Bradbury Landing
Curiosity (2012) →
Deep Space 2
Deep Space 2 (1999)
Mars 2
Mars 2 (1971)
Mars 3
Mars 3 (1971)
Mars 6
Mars 6 (1973)
Mars Polar Lander
Polar Lander (1999)
Challenger Memorial Station
Opportunity (2004)
Green Valley
Phoenix (2008)
Schiaparelli EDM lander
Schiaparelli EDM (2016)
Carl Sagan Memorial Station
Sojourner (1997)
Columbia Memorial Station
Spirit (2004)
Thomas Mutch Memorial Station
Viking 1 (1976)
Gerald Soffen Memorial Station
Viking 2 (1976)