Color Reveals Translucent Seasonal Ice
Color Reveals Translucent Seasonal Ice
PSP_002942_0935  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes
In a region near the South Pole of Mars translucent carbon dioxide ice covers the ground seasonally. For the first time we can “see” the translucent ice by the effect it has on the appearance of the surface below.

Dark fans of dust from the surface drape over the top of the seasonal ice. The surface would be the same color as the dust except that the seasonal ice affecting its appearance. Bright bluish streaks are frost that has re-crystallized from the atmosphere.

Sunlight can penetrate through the seasonal layer of translucent ice to warm the ground below. That causes the seasonal ice layer to sublime (evaporate) from the bottom rather than the top.

Written by: Candy Hansen  (12 December 2007)

Acquisition date
13 March 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
245.2 km (152.4 miles)

Original image scale range
49.1 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~147 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
82°, with the Sun about 8° above the horizon

Solar longitude
199.6°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  135°
Sub-solar azimuth:  33.7°
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   (251MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (137MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (166MB)
non-map           (175MB)

IRB color
map projected  (69MB)
non-map           (132MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (218MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (216MB)

RGB color
non map           (117MB)
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.