Geography of Mars
Now we are looking at a different sort of map of the surface of Mars. It shows where spacecraft like Mars Pathfinder and Viking landed on Mars. Again, the surface of Mars can be broken into two main regions: highlands and lowlands. The highlands are in the southern hemisphere (the bottom of the figure), and the lowlands are in the northern hemisphere of Mars (top of the figure). The lowlands also contain the Tharsis Ridge. As we'll see later, there is a really big difference in elevation between these two regions of Mars.
The highlands have many craters, and hence are a very old portion of Mars. This region of Mars looks like the Moon. The lowlands also contain quite a few craters.
Not seen clearly in this image are the Martian polar caps. Besides ice, the southern polar region of Mars contains other interesting geologic features such as layered terrain and giant sand dunes.