Exquisite detail of the Red Planet’s history is captured in this image taken by the CaSSIS camera on the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) on 21 April 2021.
Zooming into the image shows the details of layered deposits exposed on the floor of a 50 km wide impact crater. Sediments that have been eroded by the wind reveal their internal layering. Dark sand has been trapped in the low parts of the terrain and contrasts with the brighter sedimentary rocks. In places the layers are offset by faults cutting through them, showing that the ground has been fractured in the past.
The image is centred on 3.9897°N, 1.3794°E. A scale bar is marked on the image.
TGO arrived at Mars in 2016 and began its full science mission in 2018. The spacecraft is not only returning spectacular images, but also providing the best ever inventory of the planet’s atmospheric gases, and mapping the planet’s surface for water-rich locations. It will also provide data relay services for the second ExoMars mission comprising the Rosalind Franklin rover and Kazachok platform, when it arrives on Mars in 2023.