HORIZON TOPOGRAPHY AND THE LOCATION OF VIKING LANDER 2


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Abstract

The location of Viking Lander 2 on Mars is determined by matching features seen on the horizon with hills visible in Viking Orbiter images. Three possible positions are found, with one being preferred, confirming and refining the position determined previously by radio tracking. The often stated opinion that a lobe of ejecta from the large crater Mie is visible in lander images is shown to be false. The most prominent hill on the eastern horizon is Goldstone, a pedestal crater 8 km from the lander. Another hill 16 km from the preferred position is just visible to the north. The image processing procedures used to enhance visibility of low relief features on the horizon should be useful for several future missions.

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