Observing Projects 8F Surveying the Martian Geography Quadrant 3 Centered on 225 Degrees

If you've spent a long time in the field at night and you made Mars your first stop at about 8 PM local time, consider coming back for another look at 2 AM for Mars is now showing you a very different face. If the 135-degree meridian was centered then, now you're looking at the 225-degree meridian. This line of longitude was on the limb six hours before and now it's just about dead center.

The southern hemisphere of the planet at 225-degrees longitude is dominated by the large moderately dark area stretching from east to west called Mare Climmerium. Cimmerium is dominated by heavily cratered highlands.

Climmerium is a broad albedo feature that spans from the equator southward to about -30 degrees latitude and spanning the entire area between 200 degrees and about 270 degrees longitude. South of this area is the bright highland Eridania, and then a somewhat darker highland called Mare Chronium. South of Chronium, the terrain begins to merge into the south polar cap. The terrain south of Mare Chro-nium is some of the roughest on the planet. It is both very mountainous and very heavily cratered. The terrain remains rough until reaching the south polar cap.

Moving to the north about on the equator or just north of it on the central meridian is a bright area called Cyclopia. There is a small dark albedo feature where the terrain is heavily depressed called Cevberus. Further to the north the terrain brightens and descends into lowland plains. The plains area immediately to the north of Cevberus is Elysium Planitia. Just about on the central meridian and just north of 45 degrees north latitude is the broad plain Utopia Planitia where in September 1976, the Viking 2 lander set down. On the border between Elysium and Utopia, the terrain then again rapidly begins to darken. This is about the only place in the northern polar region of Mars where the terrain darkens markedly over a wide area. The terrain in this area remains dark, but smooth and relatively flat.

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