#6023 The digital-colorized image depicts a crater on the planet Mars and includes some of the surrounding area.
The darker coloring of the large indentation provides an indication of its depth in relation to the surrounding areas.
2 Build on Your Observations
Looking around the image, one can observe distinctly different patterns and textures. The darker walls of the crater have a ripple-like pattern. Some areas on the larger surface appear lighter, and thus smooth. The most predominant texture is granular.
Shadows also provide information about this image. For example, half of the large crater is in shadow, supporting our perception of its depth. Shadows on the smaller indentations also differentiate these areas by depth and height from the surrounding area.
3 Make Inferences
The title references the Spirit Lander. Launched in 2004, the NASA Spirit Lander was a robotic rover active on Mars between 2004 and 2010. The Lander platform is visible in the bottom left of the photograph. It is the small circular object, whose reddish color is slightly brighter than the surroundings.
The title also references the Bonneville Crater. The Bonneville Crater is what is known as an “impact” crater. Impact craters are created as the result of an interstellar object hitting the surface of the planet.
The caption states the image is “in color.” This is because color was added after the photograph was made. Making images of space requires more than a simple camera. These devices often do not record in color and do not even use film. These special devices record light from the universe with special electronic detectors. The detectors produce images that are in shades of black and white. The later addition of color enhances details of the image.
The ridges in the photo indicate that wind affects the surface of Mars. This also suggests that the surface is made up of materials that are soft or small and can be moved by wind.
4 Formulate Further Questions
What was Spirit’s mission?
Are there other types of craters?
Are the ripple patterns made by wind or water?
How does NASA use these images for its research?