Scientific Colloquium
November 9, 2007

"Mapping of Mars' Surface and Atmosphere by the CRISM Imaging Spectrometer on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter"

The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars, or CRISM, 
is a visible-infrared hyperspectral imager on the Mars Reconnaissance 
Orbiter spacecraft. After having orbited Mars for one year, CRISM has 
returned over 2700 high-resolution hyperspectral images of key areas 
of the Martian surface, and completed lower-resolution mapping of 
over half of the planet. In addition it has taken nearly 3000 
measurements of atmospheric opacity to track the spatial and temporal 
evolution of dust and ice clouds and trace gases. Through an orders 
of magnitude improvement in spatial resolution compared to earlier 
composional investigations from orbit, CRISM is supporting some 
hypotheses about Mars' surface and also providing new surprises. A 
major revelation is that aqueous minerals recording a wet environment 
early in Mars' history are more common and widely distributed than 
had been thought.

Return to Schedule