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Isidis Planitia

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Title: Isidis Planitia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: List of plains on Mars, Amenthes quadrangle, Geological history of Mars, Mars, InSight
Collection: Impact Craters on Mars, Mars, Plains on Mars, Surface Features of Mars
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Isidis Planitia

Isidis Planitia
Topography of Isidis Planitia
Planet Mars
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.[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.

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.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4]

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

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. In January 2015, NASA reported the Beagle 2 had been found on the surface in Isidis Planitia (location is about ).[5][6] High-resolution images captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter identified the lost probe, which appears to be intact.[7][8][9] (see discovery images here)

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

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^

External links

  • Google Mars zoomable map centered on Isidis Planitia

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