Pits, Cracks, and Polygons in Western Utopia Planitia
Pits, Cracks, and Polygons in Western Utopia Planitia
PSP_002202_2250  Science Theme: Landscape Evolution
Utopia Planitia is part of the great northern lowlands of Mars, where there may have been an ancient ocean.

The pits, cracks, and polygons in Utopia have been interpreted as due to some combination of temperature variations in ice-rich ground, sublimation of ground ice, and collapse into subsurface voids.

This HiRISE image reveals many new details, including an abundance of boulders about 1 meter in diameter over the entire region. The infrared color of HiRISE reveals two types of materials: the brighter and yellowish areas are probably dusty and the darker and bluer areas are probably coarser particles--sand and rocks.

Written by: Alfred McEwen  (6 June 2007)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_005947_2250.
Acquisition date
15 January 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
300.4 km (186.7 miles)

Original image scale range
from 30.1 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) to 60.1 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning)

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
60°, with the Sun about 30° above the horizon

Solar longitude
166.9°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  341.4°
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   (621MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (397MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (296MB)
non-map           (225MB)

IRB color
map projected  (91MB)
non-map           (254MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (180MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (183MB)

RGB color
non map           (242MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

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.