North Polar Layers
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
North Polar Layers
ESP_018636_2745  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes

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The North Polar layered deposits are a 3-kilometer thick stack of dusty water ice layers that are about 1000 kilometers across. The layers record information about climate stretching back a few million years into Martian history.

In many locations erosion has created scarps and troughs that expose this layering. The tan colored layers are the dusty water ice of the polar layered deposits; however a section of bluish layers are is visible below them. These bluish layers contain sand-sized rock fragments that likely formed a large polar dunefield before the overlying dusty ice was deposited.

The lack of a polar ice cap in this past epoch attests to the variability of the Martian climate, which undergoes larger changes over time than that of the Earth.

Written by: Shane Byrne  (28 February 2017)

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Acquisition date
18 July 2010

Local Mars time:
05:54

Latitude (centered)
85.716°

Longitude (East)
179.368°

Range to target site
318.1 km (198.8 miles)

Original image scale range
63.6 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~191 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel

Map projection
Polarstereographic

Emission angle:
0.0°

Phase angle:
68.6°

Solar incidence angle
69°, with the Sun about 21° above the horizon

Solar longitude
120.1°, Northern Summer

North azimuth:
233°

Sub-solar azimuth:
318.5°
JPEG
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

JP2
Black and white
map-projected   (296MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (151MB)

JP2 EXTRAS
Black and white
map-projected  (171MB)
non-map           (128MB)

IRB color
map projected  (70MB)
non-map           (114MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (282MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (262MB)

RGB color
non map           (107MB)
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products
HiView

NB
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

USAGE POLICY
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



Postscript
For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. 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. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.