Honey, I Shrunk the Mesas
NASA/JPL/UArizona
Honey, I Shrunk the Mesas
ESP_040566_0935  Science Theme: Climate Change
The South Polar residual cap (the part that lasts through the summer) is composed of carbon dioxide ice. Although the cap survives each warm summer season, it is constantly changing its shape due to sublimation of carbon dioxide from steep slopes and deposition onto flat areas.

This observation was acquired on 23 March 2015, in the summer of Mars Year 32. The same area was imaged in another observation on 28 August 2007, (PSP_005095_0935) in the summer of Mars Year 28. You can barely recognize that this is the same area! The high-standing mesas have shrunk to about half of their size in 2007, but the low areas between mesas have filled in with new carbon dioxide material.



Written by: Alfred McEwen (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (20 May 2015)
 
Acquisition date
23 March 2015

Local Mars time
17:14

Latitude (centered)
-86.266°

Longitude (East)
-0.782°

Spacecraft altitude
244.9 km (152.2 miles)

Original image scale range
24.5 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~73 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel

Map projection
Polarstereographic

Emission angle
0.0°

Phase angle
71.2°

Solar incidence angle
71°, with the Sun about 19° above the horizon

Solar longitude
313.1°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  133°
Sub-solar azimuth:  53.3°
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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.