Color imaging of Mars by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE)

W. Alan Delamere, Livio L. Tornabene, Alfred S. McEwen, Kris Becker, James W. Bergstrom, Nathan T. Bridges, Eric M. Eliason, Dennis Gallagher, Kenneth E. Herkenhoff, Laszlo Keszthelyi, Sarah Mattson, Guy K. McArthur, Michael T. Mellon, Moses Milazzo, Patrick S. Russell, Nicolas Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


HiRISE has been producing a large number of scientifically useful color products of Mars and other planetary objects. The three broad spectral bands, coupled with the highly sensitive 14 bit detectors and time delay integration, enable detection of subtle color differences. The very high spatial resolution of HiRISE can augment the mineralogic interpretations based on multispectral (THEMIS) and hyperspectral datasets (TES, OMEGA and CRISM) and thereby enable detailed geologic and stratigraphic interpretations at meter scales. In addition to providing some examples of color images and their interpretation, we describe the processing techniques used to produce them and note some of the minor artifacts in the output. We also provide an example of how HiRISE color products can be effectively used to expand mineral and lithologic mapping provided by CRISM data products that are backed by other spectral datasets. The utility of high quality color data for understanding geologic processes on Mars has been one of the major successes of HiRISE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-52
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Image processing
  • Instrumentation
  • Mars
  • Mars, Surface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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