Mission Elapsed Time
What is CRISM?
The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) is 1 of 6 science experiments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which takes measurements of both the surface and the atmosphere of Mars.
CRISM data are used to find minerals’ spectral signatures on Mars. Different minerals form in different settings, ranging from ancient lakes and deltas to volcanic lava flows. We use the mineral evidence to understand how different geologic processes have shaped the planet over time. CRISM also observes the polar ice caps and atmosphere to understand seasonal and year-to-year variations in the Martian weather.
March 17, 2016
December 15, 2015
September 28, 2015
September 2, 2015
August 24, 2015
Read about the career paths that led members of the CRISM team into space exploration.
CRISM Spectral Library
The MRO CRISM Spectral Library is an analysis tool for interpreting CRISM data. it currently contains 2,260 spectral analyses of 1,134 Mars-analog samples, all measured under desiccating conditions so that materials that adsorb water look as they would on Mars. This was made avaialble to the community through the PDS on the day that MRO entered Mars orbit!
Hi-Res Image Map
What are visible and infrared wavelengths?
Visible wavelengths of light are those wavelengths - corresponding to colors - that we can detect with our eyes, ranging from 400 to 700 nanometers on the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared wavelengths are longer than visible wavelengths and range from 700 nanometers to 1 millimeter. The wavelengths of infrared light are longer because infrared photons have lower energy than visible photons, and vibrate at lower frequencies. The wavelengths of light that CRISM detects are from about 400 to 3920 nanometers, and so includes the visible and “near” infrared. CRISM has two separate detectors that return useful data covering 410-1023 nanometers (the "VNIR" detector), and from 1030 to 3920 nanometers (the "IR" detector).
MSL Site Selection
CRISM has been supporting landing site selection for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission with hundreds of observations that have been converted to color and mineral indicator maps. [ more ]
In its high-resolution "targeted" operating mode, in less than 3 minutes CRISM can acquire a hyperspectral image covering 100-200 square kilometers. In its lower-resolution mapping or "survey" mode, it takes a long multispectral image strip every 3 minutes that covers about 60,000 square kilometers.