October 14, 2014

Mars surface diversity as revealed by the OMEGA/Mars express observations

Bibring J.-P., Langevin Y., Gendrin A., Gondet B., Poulet F., Berthe M., Soufflot A., Arvidson R., Mangold N., Mustard J., Drossart P., Erard S., Fomi O., Combes M., Encrenaz T., Fouchet T., Merchiorri R., Belluci G., Altieri F., Formisano V., Bonello G., Capaccioni F., Cerroni P., Coradini A., Fonti S., Kottsov V., Ignatiev N., Moroz V., Titov D., Zasova L., Pinet P., Doute S., Schmitt B., Sotin C., Hauber E., Hoffmann H., Jaumann R., Keller U., Duxbury T., Forget F.

Summary: The Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces, et l'Activité (OMEGA) investigation, on board the European Space Agency Mars Express mission, is mapping the surface composition of Mars at a 0.3- to 5-kilometer resolution by means of visible - near-infrared hyperspectral reflectance imagery. The data acquired during the first 9 months of the mission already reveal a diverse and complex surface mineralogy, offering key insights into the evolution of Mars. OMEGA has identified and mapped mafic iron-bearing silicates of both the northern and southern crust, localized concentrations of hydrated phyllosilicates and sulfates but no carbonates, and ices and frosts with a water-ice composition of the north polar perennial cap, as for the south cap, covered by a thin carbon dioxide-ice veneer.