Dramatic Changes over the South Polar Residual Cap
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Dramatic Changes over the South Polar Residual Cap
ESP_056205_0935  Science Theme: Climate Change
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The South Polar residual cap is composed of carbon dioxide ice that persists through each Martian summer. However, it is constantly changing shape.

The slopes get more direct illumination at this polar location, so they warm up and sublimate, going directly from a solid state to a gaseous state. The gas then re-condenses as frost over flat areas, building new layers as the older layers are destroyed. This animation compares a small subarea to the same locale imaged in 2009.

Written by: Alfred McEwen (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (15 October 2018)
 
Acquisition date
23 July 2018

Local Mars time:
18:37

Latitude (centered)
-86.305°

Longitude (East)
-0.467°

Spacecraft altitude
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:
2.0°

Phase angle:
74.2°

Solar incidence angle
76°, with the Sun about 14° above the horizon

Solar longitude
216.9°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  138°
Sub-solar azimuth:  37.7°
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non-map           (177MB)

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non-map           (210MB)

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Merged RGB
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RGB color
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EDR products
HiView

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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

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.