Starburst Channels
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Starburst Channels
PSP_003443_0980  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes
This caption is part of a December 2007 AGU presentation "Spring at the South Pole of Mars."

Translucent carbon dioxide ice covers the polar regions of Mars seasonally. It is warmed and sublimates (evaporates) from below, and escaping gas carves a numerous channel morphologies.

In this example the channels form a "starburst" pattern, radiating out into feathery extensions. The center of the pattern is being buried with dust and new darker dust fans ring the outer edges. This may be an example of an expanding morphology, where new channels are formed as the older ones fill and are no longer efficiently channeling the subliming gas out. Written by: Candy Hansen   (21 December 2007)

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Acquisition date
21 April 2007

Local Mars time:
16:51

Latitude (centered)
-81.809°

Longitude (East)
76.170°

Range to target site
247.1 km (154.4 miles)

Original image scale range
24.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~74 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel

Map projection
Polarstereographic

Emission angle:
1.1°

Phase angle:
69.9°

Solar incidence angle
71°, with the Sun about 19° above the horizon

Solar longitude
223.4°, Northern Autumn

North azimuth:
110°

Sub-solar azimuth:
33.5°
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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:
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.