South Polar Layered Deposits
South Polar Layered Deposits
PSP_005011_0885  Science Theme: Polar Geology


This image of the south polar layered deposits shows far more detail than seen in previous images of this part of Mars. The most complete imaging coverage of the area south of 87 degrees south latitude was acquired by the Mariner 9 and Viking Orbiter spacecraft in the 1970s.

These images showed a shallow scarp at this location, but it was not known whether the dozens of layers visible in this HiRISE image would be exposed. The MGS and Mars Odyssey orbiters could not view the regions near the poles. Such images of the Mars polar "terra incognita" will help scientists understand the geology of the south polar layered deposits, widely believed to record ancient Martian climate changes like ice ages on Earth. For example, this subimage shows possible evidence that horizontal layers have been distorted by folding or flow (2048 x 4000; 8 MB).

Written by: Ken Herkenhoff  (5 September 2007)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_005023_0915.
Acquisition date
21 August 2007

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
246.0 km (152.9 miles)

Original image scale range
25.7 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~77 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
69°, with the Sun about 21° above the horizon

Solar longitude
299.8°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  191°
Sub-solar azimuth:  54.3°
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   (1114MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (557MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (381MB)
non-map           (689MB)

IRB color
map projected  (93MB)
non-map           (544MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (276MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (252MB)

RGB color
non map           (487MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

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.