A Mysterious Bright Streak on the South Polar Layered Deposits
A Mysterious Bright Streak on the South Polar Layered Deposits
ESP_040667_0910  Science Theme: Polar Geology
This locale was targeted to a bright, bow-shaped marking visible in a summertime image from MRO’s Context Camera. Our HiRISE image reveals a crater near the streak, perhaps from an impact event, although now too degraded to be certain of its origin.

This image also shows a lacy network of many fine channels associated with jets in the subliming carbon dioxide of the springtime. The bright streak might be due to topographic shading, although an anaglyph will help us determine that for certain. If it is topographic, then this portion of the layered deposits may have been folded under compressional stresses, perhaps from gravitational slumping.

Written by: Alfred McEwen (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (3 June 2015)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_032226_0910.
Acquisition date
31 March 2015

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
246.0 km (152.9 miles)

Original image scale range
54.0 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~162 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
73°, with the Sun about 17° above the horizon

Solar longitude
317.7°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  147°
Sub-solar azimuth:  57.6°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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’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.