Fall Frost Accumulation on Russell Crater Dunes
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Fall Frost Accumulation on Russell Crater Dunes
ESP_034234_1255  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes
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Russell Crater dunes are a favorite target for HiRISE images not only because of their incredible beauty, but for how we can measure the accumulation of frost year after year in the fall, and its disappearance in the spring.

The frost is, of course, carbon dioxide ice that often sublimates (going directly from a solid to a gas) during the Martian spring. HiRISE takes images of the same areas on Mars in order to study seasonal changes like this. In an area like Russell Crater--a very ancient impact crater about 140 kilometers in diameter--we can follow changes in the terrain by comparing images taken at different times. This helps give us a better understanding of active processes on the Red Planet.

Written by: HiRISE Science Team (audio: Tre Gibbs)   (5 February 2014)

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Acquisition date
15 November 2013

Local Mars time:

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Range to target site
253.5 km (158.5 miles)

Original image scale range
50.7 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~152 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle:

Phase angle:

Solar incidence angle
84°, with the Sun about 6° above the horizon

Solar longitude
49.6°, Northern Spring

North azimuth:

Sub-solar azimuth:
Black and white
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IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (278MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (166MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (131MB)
non-map           (164MB)

IRB color
map projected  (59MB)
non-map           (134MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (259MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (240MB)

RGB color
non map           (115MB)
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/JPL/University of Arizona

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.