PIA04162: The Defrosting South

The Defrosting South


20 August 2005
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows varied springtime patterns formed in defrosting, seasonal carbon dioxide frost in the south polar region of Mars. The feature sporting an outline of dark spots and an interior of smaller, closely-spaced dark spots and dark-outlined polygons is a patch of windblown or wind-eroded sand that was covered by carbon dioxide frost during the previous autumn and winter. The fainter, larger polygon pattern on either side of the patch of defrosting sand is formed in the substrate upon which the sand patch is sitting. Polygonal forms such as these might indicate the presence of ice below the surface.

Location near : 79.6°S, 125.0°W
Image width : width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from : upper left
Season : Southern Spring

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Mars
System Mars
Target Type Planet
Mission Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
Instrument Host Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
Extra Keywords Atmosphere, Grayscale, Storm
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2005-08-20
Date in Caption 2005-08-20
Image Credit NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA04162
Identifier PIA04162