PIA20208: The Coming and Going of Ice

The Coming and Going of Ice


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Like Earth's water table, Mars has an ice table. Sometimes, the ice table coincides with the ground's surface as it does here. The knobby, pitted terrain is caused when ice is deposited and then sublimates over and over again. This geologic process is called "accrescence" and "decrescence" and also occurs on Neptune's moon Triton and on Pluto, though in the outer Solar System the ice is not water ice.

Other evidence for ice here includes the rope-like, curved flow feature that resembles glacial flow.

Solis Planum -- a huge mound south of Valles Marineris -- is the location of this image.

Background Info:

The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Mars Earth, Neptune, Pluto, Triton
System Mars Earth, Neptune, Pluto
Target Type Planet Dwarf Planet, Earth, Satellite
Mission Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
Instrument Host Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE)
Extra Keywords Color, Map, Water
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2015-12-10
Date in Caption
Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20208
Identifier PIA20208