Avalanche Season
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Avalanche Season
ESP_060176_2640  Science Theme: Climate Change
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Every spring the sun shines on the side of the stack of layers at the North Pole of Mars known as the north polar layered deposits. The warmth destabilizes the ice and blocks break loose.

When they reach the bottom of the more than 500 meter tall cliff face, the blocks kick up a cloud of dust. (In the cutout, the top layer of the north polar cap is to the lower left.) The layers beneath are different colors and textures depending on the amount of dust mixed with ice.

Written by: Candy Hansen (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (3 September 2019)
 
Acquisition date
29 May 2019

Local Mars time
13:14

Latitude (centered)
83.796°

Longitude (East)
237.006°

Spacecraft altitude
318.2 km (197.8 miles)

Original image scale range
32.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~96 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel

Map projection
Polarstereographic

Emission angle
6.8°

Phase angle
66.9°

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

Solar longitude
31.9°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  111°
Sub-solar azimuth:  309.5°
JPEG
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

JP2
Black and white
map-projected   (499MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (295MB)

JP2 EXTRAS
Black and white
map-projected  (223MB)
non-map           (177MB)

IRB color
map projected  (65MB)
non-map           (186MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (128MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (118MB)

RGB color
non map           (159MB)
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products
HiView

NB
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.