Fall Frost Accumulation on Russell Crater Dunes
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Fall Frost Accumulation on Russell Crater Dunes
ESP_034234_1255  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes
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Russell Crater dunes are a favorite target for HiRISE images not only because of their incredible beauty, but for how we can measure the accumulation of frost year after year in the fall, and its disappearance in the spring.

The frost is, of course, carbon dioxide ice that often sublimates (going directly from a solid to a gas) during the Martian spring. HiRISE takes images of the same areas on Mars in order to study seasonal changes like this. In an area like Russell Crater--a very ancient impact crater about 140 kilometers in diameter--we can follow changes in the terrain by comparing images taken at different times. This helps give us a better understanding of active processes on the Red Planet.

Written by: HiRISE Science Team (audio: Tre Gibbs)   (5 February 2014)

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Acquisition date:15 November 2013 Local Mars time: 3:08 PM
Latitude (centered):-54.274° Longitude (East):12.946°
Range to target site:253.5 km (158.5 miles)Original image scale range:50.7 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~152 cm across are resolved
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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.