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/pixel

Map 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

North azimuth:
108°

Sub-solar azimuth:
57.6°
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All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible:
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona



Postscript
For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.