South Polar Spiders
South Polar Spiders
PSP_003520_1010  Science Theme: Fluvial Processes
This image is located in the South Polar region of Mars and was suggested by Richard Smith’s class at Titusville High School in Titusville, FL.

In this image, we can see “spiders” likely caused by the sublimation of carbon dioxide ice. (Sublimation means the change of this ice from a solid directly to a gas.) As this happens, the gas moves through channels until it reaches the surface and vents out. These vents show up as the dark streaks because they carry dust and dirt up to the surface.

Written by: Alix Davatzes  (25 June 2008)
Acquisition date
27 April 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
249.5 km (155.0 miles)

Original image scale range
25.0 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~75 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
67°, with the Sun about 23° above the horizon

Solar longitude
227.2°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  102°
Sub-solar azimuth:  33.8°
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   (649MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (341MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (387MB)
non-map           (434MB)

IRB color
map projected  (182MB)
non-map           (351MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (169MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (157MB)

RGB color
non map           (307MB)
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.