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:10:14 PM
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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North azimuth:187° Sub-solar azimuth:33.7°
For map-projected products
North azimuth:250.3°Sub solar azimuth:96.57°

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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
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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.