Color Reveals Translucent Seasonal Ice
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Color Reveals Translucent Seasonal Ice
PSP_002942_0935  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes

This caption is part of a December 2007 AGU presentation "Spring at the South Pole of Mars."

In a region near the south pole of Mars translucent carbon dioxide ice covers the ground seasonally. For the first time we can "see" the translucent ice by the effect it has on the appearance of the surface below.

Dark fans of dust from the surface drape over the top of the seasonal ice. The surface would be the same color as the dust except that the seasonal ice affecting its appearance. Bright bluish streaks are frost that has re-crystallized from the atmosphere.

Sunlight can penetrate through the seasonal layer of translucent ice to warm the ground below. That causes the seasonal ice layer to sublime (evaporate) from the bottom rather than the top.

Written by: Candy Hansen   (18 December 2007)

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Acquisition date:13 March 2007 Local Mars time:18:41
Latitude (centered):-86.397° Longitude (East):99.150°
Range to target site:245.4 km (153.4 miles)Original image scale range:49.1 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~147 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:50 cm/pixelMap projection:Polarstereographic
Emission angle:2.3° Phase angle:84.4°
Solar incidence angle:82°, with the Sun about 8° above the horizon Solar longitude:199.6°, Northern Autumn

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