Student Image of the Week: Layering Near Southern Polar Crater
Student Image of the Week: Layering Near Southern Polar Crater
PSP_003545_0995  Science Theme: Fluvial Processes
This image was suggested by Vishal Bhalerao, a mechanical engineering student, from the K.K. Wagh Institute of Engineering Education in Maharashtra, India.

The image captures a small crater in the southern hemisphere near the south pole.

Much of the ground surface is covered by polygonal fractures, common in high-latitude areas. This suggests there is (or was) ice just below the surface at this location. There are also yardangs (long landforms sculpted by the wind) and dunes within the crater suggesting aeolian activity. Aeolian (wind-driven) processes are currently very active on the surface of Mars.

The dark and light patches at the top of the image are probably related to sublimation of carbon dioxide ice at this location.

Written by: Alix Davatzes (HiRISE challenge caption)  (14 November 2007)
Acquisition date
29 April 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
246.9 km (153.5 miles)

Original image scale range
24.7 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
68°, with the Sun about 22° above the horizon

Solar longitude
228.4°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  106°
Sub-solar azimuth:  34.3°
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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/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.