Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Crater Gusev on Mars was named for the Russian astronomer Matwei Matwejewitsch Gusev (1826-1866) . In English, his first name is commonly spelled Matvei.
The Gusev crater was discovered in 1976 on images taken by the Viking Orbiter [2,3]. This crater is a four-billion-year-old meteor impact basin near the Martian equator at 14.6S and 175.4E . Mars Exploration Rover Spirit landed in the basin in 2004. This site was chosen because it had the appearance of a lakebed: the bottom of the crater may contain sedimentary deposits laid down in a submarine environment, assuming that Gusev was once filled with water . Although the Spirit rover found mainly basaltic rock, it also detected some mineral salts such as magnesium and calcium sulfate and amorphous silicon dioxid, giving a hint of a possible presence of thermal water and hot springs in the past .
Matvei Gusev was born in 1826 in Vyatka, Russia, and died in 1866 in Berlin, Germany. He is known for proving the non-sphericity of Earth's moon and concluding that it is elongated in the direction towards Earth .
Keywords: astronomy, planetary science, areology (science of Mars), areography (geology of Mars), terminology.
References and more to explore
 Ulf von Rauchhaupt: Der Neunte Kontinent - Die wissenschaftliche Eroberung des Mars. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, November 2010; pages 71, 176, 181 and 182.
 Malin Space Science Systems > Mars Global Surveyor - Gusev Crater and Ma'adim Vallis: www.msss.com/mars_images/moc/7_17_98_gusev_rel/.
 NASA Images > Gusev Crater and Ma'adam Vallis: www.nasaimages.org/luna/servlet/detail/nasaNAS~4~4~14757~117390:Moon-Mars-Landing-Commemorative-Rel.
 Google Mars Lab: www.google.com/mars/.
 NASA National Space Science Data Center > Spirit: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc./spacecraftDisplay.do?id=2003-027A.
 Matvei Gusev: www.music.us/education/M/Matvei-Gusev.htm.
Posted by Axel D. at 3:17 PM