This picture shows where Meridiani Planum is on Mars.
Click on image for full size
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
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.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
Two Mars Exploration Rover (MER) vehicles landed on Mars in January 2004. The second, named "Opportunity", landed at a place called Meridiani Planum. Meridiani Planum is a flat plain ("planum" means "plain");...more
Minerals are the building blocks of rocks. They are non-living, solid, and, like all matter, are made of atoms of elements. There are many different types of minerals and each type is made of particular...more
A piece of hematite may look like just a dark gray blob. That might seem difficult to identify but with a streak test you can easily identify it! Just rub the mineral against a white streak plate and...more
The Mariner 7 spacecraft took the first pictures of the South Pole of Mars. The south polar region is part of the highlands of Mars. The southern highlands of Mars are mostly old, cratered terrain and...more
Isidis Planitia is a flat plain inside a very old crater on Mars. Isidis Planitia is about 1500 km (930 miles) across. It is just north of the equator on Mars on the eastern side of the Red Planet. The...more
Gusev Crater is an impact crater on Mars that looks as though a lake may have once filled it in the distant past. One of the two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) will explore Gusev Crater beginning in January...more
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...more