Icy Wonderland
Icy Wonderland
ESP_039633_0950  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes
Although the season is late spring, carbon dioxide ice still covers much of the surface at this high latitude site. It is still a chilly -128 degrees Celsius.

The weak boundaries of the polygonal structure of the surface have been eroded by spring sublimation of carbon dioxide as energy from the Sun turns ice to gas. The larger troughs in this image accentuate the surface polygonal structure, while the narrow cracks show the erosion caused when carbon dioxide gas escapes from under the seasonal ice layer carrying fine material from the surface.

The dark fans in this image are made up of small particles from the surface deposited on top of the seasonal layer of ice. The fans originate at a crack, a weak spot that allows the gas to escape. The material is deposited in a direction determined by the direction of the wind as the gas was escaping.

Written by: Candy Hansen (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (4 February 2015)
Acquisition date
09 January 2015

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
246.1 km (153.0 miles)

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

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
64°, with the Sun about 26° above the horizon

Solar longitude
269.0°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  122°
Sub-solar azimuth:  43.0°
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   (715MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (397MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (465MB)
non-map           (507MB)

IRB color
map projected  (202MB)
non-map           (421MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (190MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (173MB)

RGB color
non map           (365MB)
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/JPL/University of Arizona

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.