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Meridiani Planum location on Mars - Windows to the Universe

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With Explore the Planets, investigate the planets, their moons, and understand the processes that shape them. By G. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
This picture shows where Meridiani Planum is on Mars.
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Windows to the Universe original artwork by Randy Russell using images courtesy NASA/JPL.

Meridiani Planum on Mars

Meridiani Planum is the name of a plain on Mars. One of the Mars Exploration Rovers, named Opportunity, landed there.

Meridiani Planum is very flat. "Planum" means "plain". Meridiani Planum is near the equator on Mars. It is also near the Prime Meridian on Mars. The Prime Meridian is the place where the longitude is equal to zero. Mars has latitude and longitude, just like Earth. That's how people describe where a place on Mars is - by stating its latitude and longitude.

Scientists think that there might have been water at Meridiani Planum in the past. They think there is a mineral at Meridiani Planum that usually forms in water. That mineral is called hematite.

Meridiani Planum is just to the east of the great canyon on Mars, Valles Marineris. It is in between Mars' southern highlands and its northern plains.

Last modified December 31, 2003 by Randy Russell.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF