Spring Sprouts on Mars
Spring Sprouts on Mars
ESP_067558_2535  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes
The sun is rising in Mars’ Northern Hemisphere, and spring activity is starting as the seasonal polar cap begins to sublimate (going from ice directly to gas). A layer of dry ice covers the sand dunes in this image.

Gas jets sprout through the ice layer carrying dust and sand from the surface, showing up as dark fans. At this time in early Martian spring, the fans are visible between the sand dunes. The ground between the dunes is on the scale of tens of centimeters, and ice in places where the sun hits more directly will thin fastest, releasing the jets. Later, the ice over and around the dunes will rupture and more fans will appear on the dunes.

Written by: Candy Hansen (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (22 January 2021)
Acquisition date
24 December 2020

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
314.9 km (195.7 miles)

Original image scale range
63.4 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~190 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
85°, with the Sun about 5° above the horizon

Solar longitude
336.7°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  99°
Sub-solar azimuth:  309.7°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
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Black and white
map-projected   (333MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (190MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (141MB)
non-map           (141MB)

IRB color
map projected  (62MB)
non-map           (117MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (319MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (294MB)

RGB color
non map           (104MB)
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.