Astronomy:Oxia Planum

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Oxia Planum
Oxia Planum near Coogoon Vallis by HiRise.jpg
LocationOxia Palus quadrangle
CoordinatesCoordinates: 18°16′30″N 335°22′05″E / 18.275°N 335.368°E / 18.275; 335.368

Oxia Planum is a plain located on Mars (near 18°16′30″N 335°22′05″E / 18.275°N 335.368°E / 18.275; 335.368)[1] that has been chosen as a preferred landing location for the ExoMars rover,[2][3][4] with an elevation more than 3000 metres below the Martian mean.[5]


Oxia Planum contains one of the largest exposures of clay-bearing rocks and are around 3.9 billion years old.[6] The site is iron-magnesium rich clays, indicating that water once played a role here. The site sits in an area of valley systems with the exposed rocks exhibiting different compositions, indicating a variety of deposition and wetting environments.

Clay accumulation underneath the remnants of a fan or delta near the outlet of Coogoon Vallis may offer preservation for biosignatures against the planet's harsh radiation and oxidation environment.[6][7][8]

Oxia Planum - Location Map.
Oxia Planum - Geological Context - Morphology.

See also


  1. Bridges, John (July 1, 2015). "Clay-Rich Terrain in Oxia Planum: A Proposed ExoMars Landing Site". Arizona University. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  2. "Oxia Planum Favoured for ExoMars Surface Mission". European Space Agency. 9 November 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2019. 
  3. Amos, Jonathan (October 21, 2015). "ExoMars rover: Landing preference is for Oxia Planum". BBC News. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  4. Atkinson, Nancy (October 21, 2015). "Scientists Want ExoMars Rover to Land at Oxia Planum". Universe Today. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  5. ESA mission updates. Emily Lakdawalla; 5 November 2015.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Durnham, R. (October 21, 2015). "ExoMars 2018 rover heading for Oxia Planum". Red Planet Report. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  7. Thollot, P.; Quantin, C. (May 14, 2014). "Oxia Planum, landing site for Mars 2020" (PDF). Universite de Lyon, France. Retrieved October 22, 2015. 
  8. Staff (October 1, 2014). "Possible Future Mars Landing Site in Oxia Planum - High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment". The University of Arizona. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 

External links