Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Meridiani (Mars)

  • Ralf Jaumann
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_959-4


Meridiani Planum is an extended plain on Mars centered at 357.5°E/0.2°N in the western part of an Albedo feature called Sinus Meridiani. Meridiani Planum was the landing site of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity (MER) in 2004. In Meridiani Planum cross-bedded sedimentary rocks are exposed that contain crystalline hematite (Fe2O3) and sulfate-rich Minerals such as jarosite. The presence of the latter mineral indicates an acid and saline environment and a soil saturated with liquid water during a considerable period of time. Airy-0, a small crater of 0.5 km in diameter at 0°E/5.1°S, defines the prime meridian of Mars. It is located within the larger (40 km) crater Airy in southern Meridiani Planum.

See Also


Bioorganic Chemistry Sedimentary Rock Water Activity Liquid Water Landing Site 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DLRInstitut für PlanetenforschungBerlinGermany