Bright Streaks and Dark Fans
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Bright Streaks and Dark Fans
PSP_003113_0940  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes

This caption is part of a December 2007 AGU presentation "Spring at the South Pole of Mars."

The south polar region of Mars is covered every year by a layer of carbon dioxide ice. In a region called the "cryptic terrain," the ice is translucent and sunlight can penetrate through the ice to warm the surface below.

The ice layer sublimates (evaporates) from the bottom. The dark fans of dust seen in this image come from the surface below the layer of ice, carried to the top by gas venting from below. The translucent ice is "visible" by virtue of the effect it has on the tone of the surface below, which would otherwise have the same color and reflectivity as the fans.

Bright streaks in this image are fresh frost. The CRISM team has identified the composition of these streaks to be carbon dioxide.

Written by: Candy Hansen  (12 December 2007)
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Acquisition date
26 March 2007

Local Mars time:
18:20

Latitude (centered)
-85.820°

Longitude (East)
105.960°

Range to target site
244.9 km (153.1 miles)

Original image scale range
49.0 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~147 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel

Map projection
Polarstereographic

Emission angle:
0.0°

Phase angle:
79.0°

Solar incidence angle
79°, with the Sun about 11° above the horizon

Solar longitude
207.6°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  130°
Sub-solar azimuth:  33.9°
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HiView

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IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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
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.