How Old are Martian Gullies?
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
How Old are Martian Gullies?
PSP_002293_1450  Science Theme: Fluvial Processes


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Gullies eroded into the steep inner slope of an impact crater at this location appear perfectly pristine. Although at first glance it may appear that there are craters superimposed on the gully fans, inspection of HiRISE stereo coverage shows that the craters lie only on the pre-gully terrain.

Distinctive colors in the gully channels and alcoves offer another indication of youth and recent activity. The pre-gully landscape is covered by secondary craters from nearby Gasa Crater, estimated to be about 1 million years old. Although some have suggested that the Martian gullies are also about a million years old and formed in a different environment, we now know that they are continuing to form today.

Written by: Alfred McEwen  (24 April 2017)
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Acquisition date
22 January 2007

Local Mars time:
15:49

Latitude (centered)
-34.767°

Longitude (East)
130.996°

Range to target site
253.7 km (158.5 miles)

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

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50 cm/pixel and North is up

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Equirectangular

Emission angle:
4.9°

Phase angle:
62.3°

Solar incidence angle
66°, with the Sun about 24° above the horizon

Solar longitude
170.7°, Northern Summer

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North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  29.9°
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POSTSCRIPT
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.