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The 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft and the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) have been acquiring infrared images of Mars for more than 16 years. The best-quality images from the mission have been compiled into a global mosaic at 100 m/pixel resolution and printed on a walkable basketball-court-sized vinyl mat to spread awareness and excitement about Mars exploration!

Homepage Background Image: Full-disk image of Mars with the Tharis volcanoes in the west and Valles Marineris in the east from the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) Mars Color Camera (MCC). Image courtesy of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the Indian Space Science Data Center (ISSDC) and Emily Lakdawalla.

Mars Geography Scavenger Hunt

  The Mars Geography Scavenger Hunt activity was developed to give participants a structured way to explore the map and learn about the major geographic features on Mars either with or without a tour guide. Information sheets, shown below, were created for 15 important geographic landmarks across the planet. The front side has basic information about each feature and a close-up picture of an important part of the feature, while the back side has a portion of the global map centered on the feature . 


  During public events, participants are given a binder with all 15 information sheets and are challenged to find each of the locations. During educational events, classes are broken into 15 groups and each group is given one feature to find. Once all of the groups have located their features, the students are asked to gather around Olympus Mons and the group who was assigned to it summarizes the facts from the information sheet for the entire class. Then the class walks from feature to feature while each small group describes their assigned feature to the entire class.