PIA00301: South Polar Residual Ice Cap
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Viking
Spacecraft: Viking Orbiter 2
Instrument: Visual Imaging Subsystem - Camera B
Product Size: 3100 x 4400 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: U.S. Geological Survey
Addition Date: 1998-06-04
Primary Data Set: Viking EDRs
Full-Res TIFF: PIA00301.tif (18.16 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA00301.jpg (1.098 MB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

This mosaic is composed of 18 Viking Orbiter images (6 each in red, green, and violet filters), acquired on September 28, 1977, during revolution 407 of Viking Orbiter 2. The south pole is located just off the lower left edge of the polar cap, and the 0 degree longitude meridian extends toward the top of the mosaic. The large crater near the right edge (named "South") is about 100 km in diameter. These images were acquired during southern summer on Mars (Ls = 341 degrees); the sub-solar declination was 8 degrees S., and the south polar cap was nearing its final stage of retreat just prior to vernal equinox. The south residual cap is approximately 400 km across, and the exposed surface is thought to consist dominantly of carbon-dioxide frost. This is in contrast to the water-ice surface of the north polar residual cap. It is likely that water ice is present in layers that underlie the south polar cap and that comprise the surrounding layered terrains. Near the top of this image, irregular pits with sharp-rimmed cliffs appear "etched," presumably by wind. A series of rugged mountains (extending toward the upper right corner of the image) are of unknown origin.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/USGS

Image Addition Date:
1998-06-04