The Color Wonderland of Mawrth Vallis

There is a candidate landing site in the Mawrth Vallis region for the European Space Agency’s ExoMars rover, planned to launch in 2020. This is one of the HiRISE images acquired to evaluate this site.

Mawrth Vallis has some of the most spectacular color variations seen anywhere on Mars . This color variability is due to a range of hydrated minerals—water caused alteration of these ancient deposits—which is why this site is of interest to study the past habitability of Mars.

Written by: Alfred McEwen (audio: Tre Gibbs)   (8 September 2016)

More info and image formats at

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona