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Mars surface diversity as revealed by the OMEGA/Mars Express observations.

Science (New York, N.Y.)

Water, Spacecraft, Silicates, Minerals, Mars, Magnesium Compounds, Iron Compounds, Ice, Geologic Sediments, Ferric Compounds, Extraterrestrial Environment, Evolution, Planetary, Dry Ice, Carbon Dioxide

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      The Observatoire pour la Minéralogie, l'Eau, les Glaces, et l'Activité (OMEGA) investigation, on board the European Space Agency Mars Express mission, is mapping the surface composition of Mars at a 0.3- to 5-kilometer resolution by means of visible-near-infrared hyperspectral reflectance imagery. The data acquired during the first 9 months of the mission already reveal a diverse and complex surface mineralogy, offering key insights into the evolution of Mars. OMEGA has identified and mapped mafic iron-bearing silicates of both the northern and southern crust, localized concentrations of hydrated phyllosilicates and sulfates but no carbonates, and ices and frosts with a water-ice composition of the north polar perennial cap, as for the south cap, covered by a thin carbon dioxide-ice veneer.

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