Frosty Northern Dunes
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Frosty Northern Dunes
ESP_024265_2535  Science Theme: 
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It is early spring in the Northern hemisphere of Mars. These barchan dunes are covered with a layer of seasonal carbon dioxide ice (dry ice). Bluish cracks in the ice are visible across the top of some of the dunes.

Dark fan-shaped deposits around the edges of the dunes are at spots where the ice has sublimated (gone directly from ice to gas) and the ice layer has ruptured, allowing the sand from the dune to escape out from under the ice. The sand is then free to be blown by the wind.

Written by: Candy Hansen   (7 December 2011)



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Acquisition date:30 September 2011 Local Mars time: 1:44 PM
Latitude (centered):73.319° Longitude (East):355.126°
Range to target site:317.5 km (198.4 miles)Original image scale range:31.8 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~95 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixelMap projection:Polarstereographic
Emission angle:1.8° Phase angle:72.9°
Solar incidence angle:72°, with the Sun about 18° above the horizon Solar longitude:8.2°, Northern Spring
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North azimuth:101° Sub-solar azimuth:307.4°
For map-projected products
North azimuth:274.8°Sub solar azimuth:122.5°

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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.