Wide, Branching Channels
Wide, Branching Channels
ESP_047718_0995  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes
Southern spring on Mars brings sublimation of the seasonal dry ice polar cap. Gas trapped under the seasonal ice sheet carves channels on its way to escaping to the atmosphere.

At this site, the channels are wider than we see elsewhere on Mars, perhaps meaning that the spider-like (or more scientifically, “araneiform”) terrain here is older, or that the surface is more easily eroded. Seasonal fans of eroded surface material, pointed in two different directions, are deposited on the remaining ice.

Written by: Candy Hansen (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (11 January 2017)
Acquisition date
30 September 2016

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
247.4 km (153.8 miles)

Original image scale range
50.0 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~150 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

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

Solar longitude
232.9°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  103°
Sub-solar azimuth:  39.7°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (196MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (112MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (71MB)
non-map           (132MB)

IRB color
map projected  (25MB)
non-map           (117MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (201MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (179MB)

RGB color
non map           (102MB)
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

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

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.