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.
False color image of Mars from MOLA data. Here the color scale shows the darkest blues as roughly 8 km below the mean equatorial height, while reds indicate elevations up to 5 km above the mean equatorial height.
MOLA data of Martian topography highlighting the differences in elevation between the Hellas Impact Basin and surrounding terrain. The deepest point in Hellas is roughly 8200 meters below the equatorial mean.