Lines of Pits in Protonilus Mensae
NASA/JPL/UArizona
Lines of Pits in Protonilus Mensae
ESP_070735_2240  Science Theme: Glacial/Periglacial Processes
This observation shows a lobe-shaped debris apron emanating from a massif (shown in the upper left of the image) in the Protonilus Mensae region in the Northern Hemisphere of Mars.

These aprons are composed of nearly pure water ice with a layer of debris on the surface protecting the ice from sublimation (going directly from a solid to gaseous state). This image shows different terrain types on the apron that indicate the presence and flow of ice, from smoother polygonal terrain closer to the massif, to rougher, patterned ground commonly called “brain terrain.” Also visible on the apron are a series of linear pits. These pits might form from material collapsing into subsurface voids after buried ice has sublimated.

Written by: Dan Berman (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (16 December 2021)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_071869_2240.
 
Acquisition date
29 August 2021

Local Mars time
15:27

Latitude (centered)
43.597°

Longitude (East)
52.304°

Spacecraft altitude
299.7 km (186.3 miles)

Original image scale range
30.1 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~90 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle
6.0°

Phase angle
51.9°

Solar incidence angle
46°, with the Sun about 44° above the horizon

Solar longitude
91.8°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  359.9°
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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.