PIA21556: Icy Flow in a Crater
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
Spacecraft: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
Instrument: HiRISE
Product Size: 2880 x 1800 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: University of Arizona/HiRISE-LPL
Other Information: Other products from ESP_049028_2065
Full-Res TIFF: PIA21556.tif (15.13 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA21556.jpg (567.3 kB)

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The material on the floor of this crater appears to have flowed like ice, and contains pits that might result from sublimation of subsurface ice. The surface is entirely dust-covered today. There probably was ice here sometime in the past, but could it persist at some depth?

This crater is at latitude 26 degrees north, and near-surface ice at this latitude (rather than further toward one of the poles) could be a valuable resource for future human exploration. A future orbiter with a special kind of radar instrument could answer the question of whether or not there is shallow ice at low latitudes on Mars.

The map is projected here at a scale of 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) per pixel. [The original image scale is 57.5 centimeters (22.6 inches) per pixel (with 2 x 2 binning); objects on the order of 172 centimeters (67.7 inches) across are resolved.] North is up.

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 Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Image Addition Date:
2017-03-08