South Polar Layered Deposits and Residual Cap
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
South Polar Layered Deposits and Residual Cap
PSP_002856_0875  Science Theme: Polar Geology


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This image shows a variety of surface textures within the south polar residual cap of Mars.

It was taken during the southern spring, when the surface was covered by seasonal carbon dioxide frost, so that surface relief is easily seen. Illumination is from the bottom left, highlighting long troughs at to the right and round pits and irregular mesas to the left of center.

These unique landforms are common in the south polar residual cap, which is known from previous Mars Global Surveyor images to be eroding rapidly in places. Right of center, polar layered deposits are exposed on a sun-facing scarp. These deposits are older than the residual ice cap, and the layers are thought to record climate variations on Mars similar to ice ages on Earth.
Written by: Ken Herkenhoff   (7 July 2010)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_003249_0925.

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Acquisition date:06 March 2007 Local Mars time:22:14
Latitude (centered):-87.245° Longitude (East):340.345°
Range to target site:244.7 km (152.9 miles)Original image scale range:24.5 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~73 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixelMap projection:Polarstereographic
Emission angle:0.0° Phase angle:85.8°
Solar incidence angle:86°, with the Sun about 4° above the horizon Solar longitude:195.7°, Northern Autumn

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