Radial Channels Carved by Dry Ice
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Radial Channels Carved by Dry Ice
ESP_014413_0930  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes
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Mars’ carbon dioxide atmosphere partially condenses every winter to form polar caps of dry ice. In the spring, the evaporation of the ice is a dynamic process and carves channels into the ground as it escapes back into the atmosphere.

Often these channels are radial in nature, and are colloquially refered to as “spiders,” although the prefered term for these radially-organized channels is “araneiform” which means spider-like.

In this subimage all the seasonal frost is gone, and we can use stereo images or shadow measurements to measure the depth of the channels carved into the ground, typically 1 - 2 meters deep.

Written by: Candy Hansen   (30 September 2009)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_014282_0930.

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Acquisition date:23 August 2009 Local Mars time:15:30
Latitude (centered):-87.019° Longitude (East):86.473°
Range to target site:267.5 km (167.2 miles)Original image scale range:53.5 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~161 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:50 cm/pixelMap projection:Polarstereographic
Emission angle:23.9° Phase angle:88.6°
Solar incidence angle:75°, with the Sun about 15° above the horizon Solar longitude:326.2°, Northern Winter

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