Frost Highlights in the Springtime
Frost Highlights in the Springtime
ESP_059681_2410  Science Theme: Mass Wasting Processes
This image of a crater rim strikingly shows what appear to be bright white flows coming from gullies in the crater wall. However, HiRISE has been watching these gullies for some time (going all the way back to our first observation in 2012) and the flow features have been there for years. The new aspect is the bright white coloration, which is frost.

This is the earliest in the springtime that this area has been observed, and just like some winter mornings here on Earth, the conditions on Mars can be just right for frost to form. The interesting thing is that the frost appears on the gully deposits and not as much on the surrounding rock, indicating the physical properties of the gully deposits are different.

Written by: Ross Beyer (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (3 September 2019)
Acquisition date
20 April 2019

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
309.9 km (192.6 miles)

Original image scale range
31.3 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~94 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

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

Solar longitude
13.9°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  313.0°
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   (662MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (404MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (275MB)
non-map           (305MB)

IRB color
map projected  (90MB)
non-map           (252MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (182MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (175MB)

RGB color
non map           (251MB)
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’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.