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Science and Design: New Educational Tool at Astrogeology Arrives

December 22, 2019

Astrogeology Science Center acquired a new educational 10'x25' Mars "rug" on 4 December as part of their expanded educational and outreach tools.

As a teaching tool, the rug provides an opportunity to compare the size and scale of features with other features of Earth and other planets across the solar system. The rug displays many Martian features, including Valles Marineras, the largest of Mars’ magnificent canyons that spans 2500 miles-long, 200-km wide, and 5 miles-deep in some places, and is often compared to Earth’s Grand Canyon.  

Astrogeology new map rug
Astrogeology's new map rug for outreach. Partial view with an emphasis on (Valles Marineras) of the actual rug. The color of the rug here is shown darker for emphasis.

Visitors to the Astrogeology Science Center can walk through a representation of Mars and get a sense of its physical characteristics. In addition, the forthcoming map rug of Arizona, which will feature the Grand Canyon,  will allow visitors, students, and educators to make a physical comparison of these two canyons.   

The spectacular vinyl rug was designed by Astrogeology Science Center employees and made by Brumark. The color palette  — blue, green, purple, and yellow — was carefully chosen to be color-blind friendly. The nomenclature,  which is facilitated at Astrogeology, shows the names of major regions on Mars, while the geography shows chasmata, valleys, mountains, and David Roddy crater. The Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter color overlay shows the elevation of many of the features on the map. Science can be taught, learned, and experienced with the rug maps, which visitors to the center can enjoy.


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