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Meridiani Planum

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Meridiani Planum is a plain located 2 degrees south of Mars’s equator (centered at 0.2°N 357.5°E), in the westernmost portion of Sinus Meridiani. It hosts a rare occurrence of gray crystalline hematite. On Earth, hematite is often formed in hot springs or in standing pools of water; therefore, many scientists believe that the hematite at Meridiani Planum may be indicative of ancient hot springs or that the environment contained liquid water.

Meridiani Planum

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Dunes in Meridiani Planum

HiRISE monitors dune fields across Mars to track how they are changing. The mobile sand also cleans dust off of the bedrock in inter-dune areas, providing good views of the bedrock structures and colors.

Opportunity (USA)

Opportunity landed in Meridiani Planum on January 25, 2004, three weeks after its twin Spirit touched down on the other side of the planet.

Layers in Meridiani Planum

Also visible in a Context Camera image, our high resolution picture shows layers exposed where the crater ejecta has been eroded.