Spring Comes Early to the Russell Crater Sand Dunes
Spring Comes Early to the Russell Crater Sand Dunes
PSP_010090_1255  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes
Spring is already starting to show its influence at the Russell Crater field of sand dunes. Channels down the face of the largest dune show dark spots where the sublimation of the seasonal carbon dioxide ice cap has begun.

This active process (where ice evaporates directly to gas) dislodges loose material, leaving dark streaks down steep slopes. The process starts when the sun peeks above the horizon at the end of antarctic night. Bright streaks may be loose frost cascading down steep slopes.

Written by: Candy Hansen  (12 November 2008)
Acquisition date
20 September 2008

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
252.0 km (156.6 miles)

Original image scale range
100.8 cm/pixel (with 4 x 4 binning) so objects ~302 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
100 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
88°, with the Sun about 2° above the horizon

Solar longitude
130.1°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  43.7°
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   (105MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (58MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (57MB)
non-map           (62MB)

IRB color
map projected  (25MB)
non-map           (55MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (105MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (93MB)

RGB color
non map           (47MB)
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.