Flows on the Central Peak Region of Hale Crater
Flows on the Central Peak Region of Hale Crater
ESP_068338_1440  Science Theme: 
Recurring slope lineae (RSL) are dark linear flows that tend to form on warm and steep slopes on Mars. The RSL in this image are located in the central peak region of Hale Crater. (The central peak is the uplifted region of bedrock resulting from crater formation processes.)

Because Hale Crater contains some of the most active and longest RSL on the planet, the HiRISE team monitors this site to try to better understand the formation of these features. RSL are a yearly occurrence when the weather warms from spring to summer forming dozens to hundreds of dark linear flow-like features (see this image for context).

Recurring slope lineae begin to fade when the weather cools only to start up again the following year. Whether RSL are completely dry flows that are driven by gravitational forces or if they require small quantities of brine activity to disrupt the surface materials and initiate flow is still not understood.

Written by: Ginny Gulick  (21 April 2021)

Acquisition date
23 February 2021

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
254.4 km (158.1 miles)

Original image scale range
25.8 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~77 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
58°, with the Sun about 32° above the horizon

Solar longitude
7.8°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  38.1°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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’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.