#MarsWalk day 22, 110.7 km

[Edit: Using the revised stride length measured on 7 Feb 2016, distance was 123.5 km.]

Cleared my first 100 km this week! Only another 29 of those to go.

There’s not much of note nearby. Looks like it’ll be about another ten days before my closest approach to the next of the named features within about 100 km of my track. And then they get even more sparse after that. There are quite a few named craters and other such features near Viking 2, and near MSL, but they’re few and far between otherwise: Mars is ripe for a whole lot of naming! (See http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov for a database of named features.) It also will be several days before I pass the next fairly nearby HiRISE picture.

So instead, a few words about something left behind. And off to the side. The rim of Mie Crater is about 160 km from Viking 2, so about a month’s walk at my leisurely pace if I’d gone east instead of south. Not that nearby. But it’s the largest crater less than 200 km from my track, with a diameter just over 104 km. In fact, it’s bigger than any other crater in a much larger area. If I search at http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov it looks like there are maybe 140 Martian craters larger than Mie. But at latitude 48.16° N, longitude 139.65° E, it’s roughly centered between the 90° E and 180° E meridians and between the equator and the north pole, and in that one-eighth of the surface of Mars Mie is the largest crater. There’s nothing comparable nearby. It stands out.

It’s named for Gustav Adolf Feodor Wilhelm Ludwig Mie, a German physicist.

Here it is as seen in a mosaic of CTX images:Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 10.40.31 PMAnd in infrared as seen with the THEMIS instrument on Mars Odyssey:Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 10.41.11 PMNotice the black blotch in the visible, which presumably isn’t a shadow since it’s bright in the infrared: a dark area that warms up more than its surroundings by absorbing more sunlight. I don’t know what that is. Reminds me of the temporary dark stuff thrown up by last week’s recent impact, but I have no idea if it’s at all related.

MarsWalk spreadsheet

MarsWalk kmz file (for Google Earth — View >> Explore >> Mars)


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