PIA02812: Spring Thaw in Northwestern Planum Australe
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Global Surveyor (MGS)
Spacecraft: Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter
Instrument: Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
Product Size: 451 x 2375 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Malin Space Science Systems
Producer ID: MOC2-252
Addition Date: 2000-10-16
Primary Data Set: MGS EDRs
Full-Res TIFF: PIA02812.tif (2.155 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA02812.jpg (75.1 kB)

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:

Planum Australe--the Plains of the South. Patchy frost lingers late into Martian spring in this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) wide angle view from November 25, 1999. Spring would give way to summer in only 1 month, on December 25, 1999. The surfaces underneath the frost have different properties--some get warmer while others stay cold--thus causing frost to linger on colder surfaces and sublime away from warmer surfaces, leaving the dazzling, almost psychedelic pattern seen at the center of this image. Circular features in this view are old craters formed by meteor impact. The brightest patches within most of these circles are fields of sand dunes covered by frost. The center of this scene is near 78S, 135W; north is toward the upper right. Illumination is from the upper left. The image covers an area 110 km (68 mi) across by 590 km (367 mi) down. This is a color composite of MOC wide angle camera images M09-06029 (red) and M09-06030 (blue). To see what the raw MOC image data look like, visit the newest data releases (for Mission Subphases M07 - M12, covering September 1999 through February 2000) in the MOC GALLERY.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/MSSS

Image Addition Date:
2000-10-16