Depressions and Channels on the Floor of Lyot Crater
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Depressions and Channels on the Floor of Lyot Crater
ESP_052628_2310  Science Theme: Fluvial Processes


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Lyot Crater (220-kilometers in diameter) is located in the Northern lowlands of Mars. The crater’s floor marks the lowest elevation in the Northern Hemisphere.

On the crater’s floor, we see a network of channels connecting a series of irregular shaped pits. These resemble terrestrial beaded streams, which are common in the Arctic regions of Earth and develop from uneven permafrost thawing.

If terrestrial beaded streams are a good analog, these landforms suggest liquid water flow in the past. If not then these pits may result from the process of sublimation and would indicate pockets of easily accessible near-surface ground ice, which might have potentially preserved evidence of past habitability.

Written by: Natalie Glines and Ginny Gulick (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (11 December 2017)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_052694_2310.
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Acquisition date
18 October 2017

Local Mars time:
14:44

Latitude (centered)
50.787°

Longitude (East)
29.043°

Range to target site
311.2 km (194.5 miles)

Original image scale range
31.1 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~93 cm across are resolved

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25 cm/pixel and North is up

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Equirectangular

Emission angle:
7.0°

Phase angle:
47.9°

Solar incidence angle
41°, with the Sun about 49° above the horizon

Solar longitude
75.6°, Northern Spring

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North azimuth:  98°
Sub-solar azimuth:  341.6°
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POSTSCRIPT
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.