Knob in the South Polar Layered Deposits of Mars
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Knob in the South Polar Layered Deposits of Mars
ESP_032020_0955  Science Theme: Polar Geology
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The South Polar Layered Deposits of Mars are a thick stack of layers of ice and dust, deposited over millions of years. The rate of deposition changes over time, and in some times and places the stack is eroded.

Here, a low mesa or ring of hills occurs near the edge of the layered deposits. It is likely that this feature was once an impact crater. The floor of the crater became resistant, and was left behind as the rest of the surface eroded.

Images like this one can show us where the layered deposits are being eroded, and how much ice and dust has been lost. This, in turn, helps us understand the history recorded in the layers.

Written by: Colin Dundas   (10 July 2013)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_023066_0955.

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Acquisition date
26 May 2013

Local Mars time:
16:23

Latitude (centered)
-84.464°

Longitude (East)
12.121°

Range to target site
249.2 km (155.7 miles)

Original image scale range
49.9 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~150 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel

Map projection
Polarstereographic

Emission angle:
6.5°

Phase angle:
70.2°

Solar incidence angle
74°, with the Sun about 16° above the horizon

Solar longitude
325.1°, Northern Winter

North azimuth:
124°

Sub-solar azimuth:
56.6°
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USAGE POLICY
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.