Polar Pit Gullies
Polar Pit Gullies
ESP_022156_1115  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes
Numerous gullies that have formed along the southwestern wall of
an elongated shaped pit are visible in this image. This pit is located within a degraded 100 kilometer impact crater in the southern polar region of Mars.

Gullies originate along the rubbly, bouldery upper wall region and have eroded into the numerous layered wall units before terminating in fan deposits on the pit floor (see close-up image). A previous HiRISE image (ESP_020956_1115) of this location taken during the spring showed frost and interesting dark-toned flows within the gully channels. Neither frost nor dark flows are apparent in this summer-time image.

One goal of HiRISE is to repeat observations at locations such as this to detect changes that may lead to understanding how these gullies form.

Written by: Ginny Gulick  (22 June 2011)
Acquisition date
18 April 2011

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
250.4 km (155.6 miles)

Original image scale range
25.3 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~76 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
52°, with the Sun about 38° above the horizon

Solar longitude
276.6°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  100°
Sub-solar azimuth:  41.0°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (908MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (430MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (400MB)
non-map           (563MB)

IRB color
map projected  (161MB)
non-map           (399MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (228MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (220MB)

RGB color
non map           (394MB)
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

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’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. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.