Bright Slope Streaks in Arabia Terra
NASA/JPL/UArizona
Bright Slope Streaks in Arabia Terra
ESP_038044_1965  Science Theme: Sedimentary/Layering Processes
This observation shows bright and dark slope streaks in craters in the Arabia Terra region.

Slope streak formation is among the few known processes currently active on Mars. The cause of slope streaks is still debated, and both dry and wet processes have been proposed to explain their formation. They are most commonly believed to form by gravity-driven movement of extremely dry sand or very fine-grained dust in an almost fluid-like manner (analogous to a terrestrial snow avalanche) exposing darker underlying material.

The darkest slope streaks are the youngest and can be seen to cross cut and lie on top of the older and lighter-toned streaks. The lighter-toned streaks are believed to be dark streaks that are brightening with time as new dust is deposited on their surface. Where they occur, dark slope streaks are typically more plentiful than the bright streaks. However in this area, distinct bright slope streaks appear to be more plentiful, especially in the two smaller craters on either side of the larger crater in the center of the image.

Written by: Maria Banks (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (1 October 2014)
 
Acquisition date
07 September 2014

Local Mars time
15:44

Latitude (centered)
16.286°

Longitude (East)
27.981°

Spacecraft altitude
279.1 km (173.4 miles)

Original image scale range
27.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~84 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

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Equirectangular

Emission angle
1.3°

Phase angle
58.3°

Solar incidence angle
60°, with the Sun about 30° above the horizon

Solar longitude
192.2°, Northern Autumn

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North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  349.1°
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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.