HiPOD: Saturday, 4 March 2023
Cloudy Skies over Hypanis Vallis

Cloudy Skies over Hypanis Vallis
This 2015 observation shows a candidate European Space Agency ExoMars landing site in Hypanis Vallis. Instead of imaging ancient fluvial deposits (thought to be the remnants of a delta feed lake), the image shows patchy concentrations of dust clouds.

These clouds are part of the annually occurring Acidalia storm track, a regional dust storm system that originates in the Acidalia-Chryse-Kasei region and propagates southward into equatorial Valles Marineris and beyond. While this image is only partially obscured by dust, many others captured around this time frame were completely dominated by thick clouds of dust. For example, this image in Capri Chasma was rendered useless for geology and will have to be reacquired.

Landing by the ExoMars rover in these kinds of atmospheric conditions would be complicated. That mission was to touchdown on Mars in January 2019. HiRISE will continue to image Hypanis Vallis and other interesting sites on Mars despite the changing weather.

ID: ESP_040579_1920
date: 24 March 2015
altitude: 278 km

#Mars #science #NASA

Black & white is less than 5 km across; enhanced color is less than 1 km. For full observation details, visit the ID link.