Shapes and Spots on a Polar Sand Dune
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Shapes and Spots on a Polar Sand Dune
ESP_034441_2565  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes


HICLIP

720p (MP4)  
Listen to the text  

WALLPAPER

800  1024  
1152  1280  
1440  1600  
1920  2048  
2560  2880 

HIFLYER

PDF, 11 x 17 in  

HISLIDES

PowerPoint  
Keynote  
PDF  
This image shows numerous dark shapes and bright spots on a sand dune in the Northern polar regions of Mars.

The bright spots are carbon dioxide frost. On Mars, the main atmospheric component is carbon dioxide, which circulates seasonally between the atmosphere and the polar regions. One of the reasons that permit this process is the fact that temperatures on Mars are much colder than on Earth, which allows carbon dioxide frost to condense on the surface in winter.

When spring comes however, the surface heats up and the carbon dioxide frost eventually sublimates (turns directly from the solid to the vapor state), and forms jets of carbon dioxide mixed with dust, leading to the formation of the dark features we see in the image.

Such processes occur seasonally on Mars, and therefore are continuously being monitored by the HiRISE scientists to assess the differences from one year to the next.

Written by: M. Ramy El-Maarry (audio by Tre Gibbs)   (22 January 2014)



 Image Products: All image links are drag & drop for HiView, or click to download
JPEG
Grayscale: map projected  non-map
IRB color: map projected  non-map
Merged IRB: map projected
Merged RGB: map projected
RGB color: non-map projected

JP2 DOWNLOAD
Grayscale: map-projected (828.4 MB)
IRB color: map-projected (478.6 MB)

JP2 EXTRAS
Grayscale: map-projected  (462.2 MB),
non-map  (346.6 MB)
IRB color: map projected  (164.8 MB)
non-map  (296.7 MB)
Merged IRB: map projected  (205.2 MB)
Merged RGB: map-projected  (201.8 MB)
RGB color: non map-projected  (252.9 MB)

ADDITIONAL IMAGE INFORMATION
Grayscale label   Color label
Merged IRB label   Merged RGB label
EDR products

About color products (PDF)
HiView main page

 Observation Toolbox
Acquisition date:01 December 2013 Local Mars time: 2:09 PM
Latitude (centered):76.183° Longitude (East):95.411°
Range to target site:319.3 km (199.6 miles)Original image scale range:31.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~96 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixelMap projection:Polarstereographic
Emission angle:6.0° Phase angle:62.5°
Solar incidence angle:58°, with the Sun about 32° above the horizon Solar longitude:56.8°, Northern Spring
For non-map projected products:
North azimuth:105° Sub-solar azimuth:319.4°
For map-projected products
North azimuth:174.5°Sub solar azimuth:30.83°

Context map

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: Image: 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.