Frost Avalanches on Steep Scarps
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Frost Avalanches on Steep Scarps
ESP_025010_2650  Science Theme: Climate Change
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This image was originally acquired in 2011 in order to monitor for frost avalanches that occurred the year prior.

HiRISE often re-images certain areas to track changes over time. In this case, we wanted to photograph the scarp near the onset of the Martian springtime, to get a better understanding of the frequency of these frost avalanches, what triggers them and any role they have in the evolution of the scarp's formation.

While HiRISE has captured other frost avalanches before, they never cease to amaze since it demonstrates that there are indeed active processes on the Red Planet.

This caption is based on the original science rationale.

Written by: HiRISE Science Team   (6 February 2013)



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Acquisition date:27 November 2011 Local Mars time:12:33 PM
Latitude (centered):84.995° Longitude (East):151.528°
Range to target site:320.4 km (200.2 miles)Original image scale range:32.1 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~96 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixelMap projection:Polarstereographic
Emission angle:0.5° Phase angle:71.1°
Solar incidence angle:71°, with the Sun about 19° above the horizon Solar longitude:35.4°, Northern Spring
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North azimuth:123° Sub-solar azimuth:309.9°
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North azimuth:118.4°Sub solar azimuth:307.1°

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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.