Mars Polar Lander Landing Site: Global View to False Color MOLA Inset
Released on November 22, 1999
This is one of a series of visualizations showing false-colored renderings of the Martian topography measured by MOLA in the vicinity of the Mars Polar Lander landing site. Blue tones represent elevations of less than 2 kilometers, while reddish tones are greater than about 2.8 kilometers, relative to the mean equatorial height of Mars. The elevation of the landing site is about 2.4 km, midway into the polar layered terrain. The 400 meters (1/4 mile) resolution of the MOLA data gives a smoothed but vertically exaggerated view of the topography. At this scale it is impossible to ascertain the actual roughness at the lander's destination, forcing project directors to make their best guesses based on available data.
Zoom from a global view of Mars from Viking imagery to the Mars Polar Lander landing site near the south pole of Mars, using a false color inset of MOLA topography data. White colors indicate elevations in excess of 3012 meters, red shows elevations between 2500 and 3012 meters, yellow shows elevations from 2450 to 2500 meters, dark cyan shows elevations from 2150 to 2450 meters, dark violet shows elevations from 320 to 2150 meters. The topography in these images is vertically exaggerated by a factor of 5.