2017 in Review 4: New Planetary Base Maps

Planetary Base Maps as visualizations reaching to a broad audience are a basis images used by scientists for their cartographic work. In 2017 we had some new essential base maps published for Pluto, Ceres and Mimas.

Pluto Global Color Map

The color mosaic of Pluto is created from images taken by Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) and the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) on New Horizons that flew by the dwarf planet in 2015. It is, for now, the most detailed mosaic of Pluto reaching a resolution of 300 meters per pixel.



Uncontrolled Mosaic of Ceres

by Th. Roatsch, E. Kersten, K.-D. Matz, F. Preusker, F. Scholten, R. Jaumann, C.A. Raymond, C.T. Russell

Full atlas of Ceres in a resolution about 35 meters per pixel with 62 sheets was released this year. Photos were taken between December 16, 2015, and August 8, 2016, by the Framing Camera from the Dawn mission. This is an impressive visualization of the dwarf planet, which will surely be the base for future maps.



The Mimas Atlas

by Roatsch, T., Kersten, E., Hoffmeister, A., Wahlisch, M.

Small Saturn’s moon Mimas got complete visual image thanks to Cassini spacecraft. The CICLOPS (Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations) team have released full mosaic and cartographic sheet version of the maps. These images are an update to the previous work from 2010 showing us the moon with an image scale of 216.2 meters per pixel.



Which one is your favorite planetary Base Map in 2017?

Vote for it: https://goo.gl/x3P2A5


2017 in Review 2: New Planetary Geologic Maps

2017 brings us a couple of new geologic planetary maps. This year European groups published the same number of geologic/geomorphic planetary maps as the USGS. We present short descriptions of them and ask you to vote for your favourite map below.

Geologic Map of Meridiani Planum, Mars

by Brian M. Hynek and Gaetano Di Achille (USA)

The Meridiani Planum area is the landing site of the Opportunity rover. Authors of this map indicate that the map is using more recent orbiter data to “place rover’s findings in a broader context”. It can help evaluate the geologic and hydrologic histories of the Meridiani region.



Geology of the Shakespeare quadrangle (H03), Mercury

by Laura Guzzetta, Valentina Galluzzi, Luigi Ferranti & Pasquale Palumbo (Italy)

A map that is an improvement over the previous, Mariner10 based 35 years old map of the quadrangle, now using MESSENGER data. The region is characterized by three main types of plains materials and four basin materials (formations). This map classifies craters into 3 classes based on their degradation that is not comparable to the 5 classes in the previous map. The map will support the ESA/JAXA BepiColombo project.


2017_Geology of the Shakespeare quadrangle (H03)_Mercury

Geomorphological Map of Ius Chasma, Valles Marineris, Mars

by Krzysztof Dębniak, Daniel Mège & Joanna Gurgurewicz (Poland)

A major part of Valles Marineris, Ius Chasma, is rich in geomorphological features. The authors say that “The map displays 52 main geomorphological units of which some are further subdivided. They include both well-established features (e.g. spur-and-gully morphology on trough walls, landslide scars, and deposits), and newly reported landforms (e.g. alluvial fans with dendritic channels, moraines in western Ius Chasma).”



Bedrock and structural geologic maps of eastern Candor Sulci, western Ceti Mensa, and southeastern Ceti Mensa, Candor Chasma, Valles Marineris region of Mars

by Chris H. Okubo and Tenielle A. Gaither (USA)

Another map from Valles Marineris, which is a part of a large-scale project. On two sheets we can find elevation data maps, geologic maps, cross section, stratigraphic units and events, stereonet plots (showing poles to planes of discontinuities) and other visualizations.



Generic identification and classification of morphostructures in the Noachis-Sabaea region, southern highlands of Mars

by Trishit Ruj, Goro Komatsu, James M. Dohm, Hirdy Miyamoto & Francesco Salese (Italy)

This first morphostructural map of the Noachis-Sabaea region displays structures and forms (craters, grabens, faults, ridges) with correlation to geologic units in detail. According to the authors, the work is “the basis for making inferences about Noachian-Hesperian crustal activity, and provides information for further studies regarding the reconstruction of the evolutional history of the region.”



Geologic map of Ceres

by David A. Williams , Debra L. Buczkowski , Scott C. Mest , Jennifer E.C. Scully (USA)

This map is a global summary of the large Ceres mapping project which brought us 15 quadrangle maps. These maps are available in the Geologic Mapping of Ceres Special Issue of Icarus. The global geologic map is at a scale of 1:3 500 000, which shows that impact craters dominate the surface of this dwarf planet.



Which one is your favorite geologic map of 2017? Vote for it below: