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Topic: Meridiani Planum

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In the News (Sun 18 Aug 19)

  ASU Vision Online - Spring 2004 Vol. 7 No. 2
Meridiani Planum is a plain in the middle of Mars' Terra Meridiani region, an area of Mars that has long intrigued planetary geologists - particularly Christensen, who is Principal Investigator for four Mars instruments that are either currently orbiting Mars or on the rovers.
Meridiani, Christensen frequently notes, is a "layered" area, where erosion has exposed the martian rock and a number of clearly distinct geological layers.
The minerals at Meridiani Planum are almost certainly remnants of a place in Mars' past where there once was water, but the question remains with regard to what kind of water.
www.asu.edu /vision/04v07n02/mars20.html   (756 words)

 Meridiani Planum location on Mars   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
Meridiani Planum is the name of a plain on Mars.
Meridiani Planum is near the equator on Mars.
Meridiani Planum is just to the east of the great canyon on Mars, Valles Marineris.
www.windows.ucar.edu /tour/link=/mars/places/meridiani_planum.html   (194 words)

 Meridiani Planum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Meridiani Planum is a plain located 2 degrees south of Mars' equator, in the westernmost portion of Sinus Meridiani.
On Earth, hematite is often formed in hot springs or in standing pools of water; therefore, many scientists believe that the hematite at Meridiani Planum may be indicative of ancient hot springs or that the environment contained liquid water.
In 2004, Meridiani Planum was the landing site for the second of NASA's two Mars Exploration Rovers, named Opportunity.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Meridiani_Planum   (292 words)

 Sinus Meridiani - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sinus Meridiani is a classic albedo feature on Mars stretching east-west just south of that planet's equator.
The area was named by the French astronomer Camille Flammarion in the late 1870s when he worked on his compilation and analysis of all prior observations of Mars.
Sinus Meridiani consequently became also known as Terra Meridiani, or "Meridian Land", or as Meridiani Planum, the "Meridian Plateau".
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Sinus_Meridiani   (219 words)

 Mars Exploration Rovers to Land at Meridiani Planum and Gusev Crater
Meridiani Planum -- dubbed the "Hematite Region" when scientists discovered significant deposits of the unique gray mineral there -- is one of the more geologically complex regions on Mars, featuring a rich array of sedimentary, volcanic, and impact surfaces that span a considerable range of Martian history.
Meridiani Planum and Gusev Crater, though, are both located relatively near the equator where there is sufficient sunlight, and for the time being anyway, lack heavy accumulations of iron-oxide dust particles that could coat solar panels and interfere with the rovers' mobility.
Many researchers believe Meridiani Planum is not only a geologically interesting locale, but may also be a good place to search for signs of past life because of the hematite, a mineral that on Earth usually forms in water.
www.planetary.org /html/news/articlearchive/headlines/2003/mars_mer-sites-announced.html   (2364 words)

 PSRD: Gray hematite deposit in Terra Meridiani, Mars   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
For this reason, the announcement in 2000 of the discovery of crystalline gray hematite near the Martian equator was, in a word, a watershed for planetary geologists and astrobiologists interested in unraveling the history of water and climate on Mars.
Detection of the hematite in Terra Meridiani is one of the key discoveries of the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission.
Terra Meridiani is a leading candidate for further exploration by one of the upcoming Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) because of its distinctive mineralogy and its relative safety as a landing site (in terms of low wind shear, low abundance of boulders, and low slope angles).
www.psrd.hawaii.edu /Mar03/Meridiani.html   (2150 words)

 SPACE.com -- Opportunity Closing in on Scientific Jackpot
The image was taken in the late martian afternoon at Meridiani Planum on Mars, where Opportunity landed at approximately 9:05 p.m.
Meridiani Planum is rife with deposits of a mineral called crystalline hematite, which usually forms in the presence of liquid water.
Astrobiology research at Meridiani Planum is also possible, said Joy Crisp, MER project scientist.
www.space.com /missionlaunches/opportunity_update_040127.html   (1361 words)

 Adler Planetarium / Learning Astronomy / Planets / Mars / News Update   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
Opportunity is expected to land somewhere in a 45 mile long stretch of Meridiani on some of the smoothest terrain on Mars.
The big science focus of Opportunity's mission is gray hematite, a mineral that can form either in the presence of cool liquid water (such as a lake, river, or other marine environment) or a system altered by hot water (such as a volcanic system).
At Meridiani Planum, the gray hematite deposit is larger in size and extent than the state of Oklahoma.
www.adlerplanetarium.org /cyberspace/mars/rover_news/01_235_04.ssi   (338 words)

 Rednova NEWS | Meridiani Planum Full of Geological Gems   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
On the surface, Meridiani is the darkest color yet visited.
Once they survey the real Meridiani plain outside their crater, they will gain some higher ground -- about the height of an average person of five to six feet climbing out of a hole of similar depth.
As JPL Center Director, Charles Elachi, pointed out on the night when Spirit first landed, the unique part of these missions is their multiplicity -- not only two views of opposite sides of the planet, but also local mobility in which each science day that involves driving is comparable to a new landing.
www.rednova.com /modules/news/tools.php?tool=print&id=41003   (929 words)

 Rednova NEWS | Terra Meridiani, Not Terra Firma   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
But Terra Meridiani is on the opposite side of Mars, where it is pitch-dark at night when Gusev sunrise happens.
Thought to be a volcanic region, the site is one of the few areas flat enough to land that also is near the equator and is rich in iron oxides (in particular, the mineral hematite).
With this analogy, geologists were amazed to find a more talcum-powder-like consistency to Meridiani, since the fineness of the soil could preserve even a stitch seam of the original airbag's imprint.
www.rednova.com /modules/news/tools.php?tool=print&id=42458   (960 words)

 Meridiani Planum
Located 2° south of the Martian equator, its relatively non-threatening terrain combined with its geologic features led to it being selected as the landing site for the second of the Mars Exploration Rovers.
Meridiani Planum was dubbed the "Hematite Region" when scientists discovered significant deposits of gray hematite there.
This is an iron-bearing mineral that, on Earth, is usually formed by the long-term action of water and is therefore of interest in the search for past life on Mars.
www.daviddarling.info /encyclopedia/M/Meridiani_Planum.html   (197 words)

 MER Opportunity Landing Site - Meridiani Planum
This picture shows Meridiani Planum, which is where Opportunity landed.
Meridiani Planum is a flat plain ("planum" means "plain"); a safe place to land!
Scientists think a mineral named gray hematite might be found at Meridiani Planum.
www.windows.ucar.edu /tour/link=/space_missions/mars/mars_exploration_rover/meridiani_planum.html   (251 words)

 Spirit Finds Even More Blueberries
With my very early findings that spherules exist in Gusev as as well as Meridiani Planum, I hypothesized that the surface rocks and materials in Gusev might be substantially different from the lower strata.
In Meridiani Planum, geysers are responsible for the formation of the stems, and we should expect that the same is true here in Gusev.
Fourth, oceans had to cover much of the planet, and this indicates that the lowest lying areas of the planet should be loaded with the last of the larger organisms' fossils, as well as the greatest concentration of salts.
www.xenotechresearch.com /marsf4.htm   (801 words)

 APOD: 2004 January 26 - A Landing at Meridiani Planum   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
APOD: 2004 January 26 - A Landing at Meridiani Planum
Explanation: After an interplanetary journey of nearly 300 million miles, Opportunity bounced down on the martian surface at about 9:05 pm PST Saturday, its final plunge cushioned by airbags.
Described as unlike any ever seen on Mars, the dark, undulating terrain at Meridiani Planum (aka Terra Meridiani) is
antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov /apod/ap040126.html   (169 words)

 Intriguing Intricacies From the Rocks of Mars
The Opportunity took this picture of its empty lander in the flat and almost rockless Meridiani Planum, a region that is delighting scientists.
Meridiani Planum is flat, almost featureless, almost rockless and blanketed with a fine-grained red soil and dark pebbles.
The landing site on Meridiani Planum, by comparison, looked so bland and boring from orbit that mission scientists briefly considered asking that the target be nudged to an area with a few more craters.
www.nytimes.com /2004/02/03/science/space/03MARS.html?ex=1391144400&en=ec5c1e76af0c6700&ei=5007&partner=USERLAND   (853 words)

 Astrobiology Magazine
One, in Meridiani Planum (formerly referred to as Terra Meridiani), is notable because it contains a large deposit of gray hematite, an iron-rich mineral that on Earth is usually formed by the long-term action of water.
The other two locations, Aram Chaos and Valles Marineris, although even more interesting than Meridiani Planum in some respects, are too hazardous for a MER spacecraft to land in.
Although Meridiani Planum and Gusev Crater are the favorite sites among scientists, rigorous analysis of whether they are safe enough to land in remains to be completed.
www.astrobio.net /news/print.php?sid=398   (1853 words)

The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity was sent to Meridiani Planum based largely on MGS/TES spectroscopic evidence of a large surface exposure of coarse grained gray hematite.
In situ examination of materials at Meridiani by the rover’s Moessbauer spectrometer has confirmed the presence of hematite as an abundant Fe-bearing mineral phase at Meridiani, occurring both in the outcrop and as a major component of the numerous spherules weathering from the outcrop and scattered on the plains.
The 864 nm band depth of spherules that are detached from the outcrop and resting on the plains tends to be less than that of in place spherules.
gsa.confex.com /gsa/2004AM/finalprogram/abstract_80207.htm   (523 words)

 TPS:Mars: The Story of Water at Meridiani Planum Grows   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
Brian Hynek's THEMIS-derived thermal inertia map of the Meridiani Planum region of Mars.
Since the prime mission objective for the twin MERs was to find evidence of water -- past or present, Opportunity was sent to Meridiani Planum because of the signature discovered from orbit of hematite, this gray iron oxide mineral that, on Earth, is almost always formed in processes involving water.
Whether Meridiani Planum was once an ocean or not, the general notion now is that there was plenty enough water to establish a life-friendly environment.
planetary.org /news/2004/mars_meridiani-water_0910.html   (1470 words)

 Water On Mars And "El Captain" Nasa Paly By CLips On Mars Event   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
This image, taken by the microscopic imager on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, shows a geological region of the rock outcrop at Meridiani Planum, Mars dubbed "El Capitan." Light from the top is illuminating the region.
This graph shows the relative abundances of sulfur (in the form of sulfur tri-oxide) and chlorine at three Meridiani Planum sites: soil measured in the small crater where Opportunity landed; the rock dubbed "McKittrick" in the outcrop lining the inner edge of the crater; and the rock nicknamed "Guadalupe," also in the outcrop.
This map of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's neighborhood at Meridiani Planum, Mars shows remnants of the rover's landing, including its lander; backshell and parachute; first bounce mark; and the site where its heat shield impacted the surface.
www.unexplainable.net /artman/publish/printer_552.shtml   (2514 words)

 Terra Meridiani, Not Terra Firma :: Mars Astrobiology Magazine :: Search for Life on Mars
Summary: The three standout features in the initial color postcard from the Opportunity landing site at Meridiani Planum include: the first observed martian bedrock, a talcum-powder-like soil texture, and the iron-rich color reminiscent of red clays from Texas and Oklahoma.
The closest earth analog to the Gusev crater site, which now is home to the Spirit rover, has been offered as either an Antarctic dry lake, or the currently filled crater lake in Ghana, Africa.
If the rover begins to put thermal cameras, chemical tests and microscopes to this section of Mars, a number of mysteries may suddenly become much less puzzling.
mars.astrobio.net /news/article252.html   (975 words)

 Martian Hematite Spherules of Meridiani Planum
Shortly after landing in Eagle Crater in Meridiani Planum, Opportunity soon made an amazing discovery.
Meridiani Planum was covered in curious little spherules.
These spherules appeared to be embedded in the sedimentary bedrock beneath the plains as well as scattered across the surface.
www.geocities.com /rlewis6/Spherules_MERB.htm   (1765 words)

 USATODAY.com - Mystery spheres on Mars identified   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
Spherules at Meridiani Planum are composed largely of hematite –; another piece of the puzzle pointing to Mars' watery past.
The Meridiani area, it is thought, was once a shallow lake.
Spherules at Meridiani Planum are composed largely of hematite another piece of the puzzle pointing to Mars' watery past.
www.usatoday.com /tech/news/2004-03-18-spheres-identified_x.htm?POE=TECISVA   (391 words)

 WebChat.Org - Newsletter
The earlier finding suggested a large quantity of liquid water had existed at Meridiani Planum.
However, it is not known for how long the region at Meridiani Planum was a wet environment.
The announcement earlier this month that Opportunity's landing site at Meridiani Planum was once "drenched" in water came from the discovery of very high concentrations of sulphur salts in the outcrop.
www.webchat.org /wcnl-marsbeach.html   (471 words)

 Meridiani Planum Was Wet :: Mars Astrobiology Magazine :: Search for Life on Mars
It will try to determine whether, besides being exposed to water after they formed, the rocks may have originally been laid down by minerals precipitating out of solution at the bottom of a salty lake or sea.
This image, taken by Opportunity's microscopic imager, shows a portion of the rock outcrop at Meridiani Planum, Mars.
The first views Opportunity sent of its landing site in Mars' Meridiani Planum region five weeks ago delighted researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., because of the good fortune to have the spacecraft arrive next to an exposed slice of bedrock on the inner slope of a small crater.
mars.astrobio.net /news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=320&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0   (919 words)

 USATODAY.com - Researchers consider chances of life on Mars   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-11-06)
While Opportunity has not found any signs of life since landing at Meridiani in January, knowing water was once abundant there makes it a good candidate for future study.
Kargel and Squyres agree that going back to Meridiani Planum with a future mission and returning a physical sample to Earth could shed more light on the region's aqueous past, as well as the possibility of life there.
If any organisms ever lived in Mars water, the nature of the rocks at Meridiani Planum would have been adept at preserving chemical and physical fossils of them, they said.
www.usatoday.com /tech/science/space/2004-12-03-mars-water-next_x.htm   (830 words)

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