PIA02898: North Polar Ice Cap Surface
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: 2003 x 601 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Malin Space Science Systems
Producer ID: MOC2-266B
Primary Data Set: MGS EDRs
Full-Res TIFF: PIA02898.tif (1.247 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA02898.jpg (404.5 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:
A. PIA02897



86.5N, 324.0W --- 16 December 2000 --- illuminated from lower left 10 km (6.2 mi) wide by 3 km (1.9 mi) high
B. PIA02898



85.7N, 307.9W --- 2 December 2000 --- illuminated from upper left 2 km (1.2 mi) wide by 0.9 km (0.6 mi) high
C. PIA02899



87.0N, 263.8W --- 12 December 2000 --- illuminated from upper left 10 km (6.2 mi) wide by 3 km (1.9 mi) high

On Mars, Northern Hemisphere Summer (and Southern Hemisphere Winter) began on December 16, 2000. In this December holiday season, many children across the U.S. and elsewhere are perhaps anticipating an annual visit from a generous and jolly red-suited soul from the Earth's North Pole. As the December holidays were approaching, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) was busy acquiring new views of the region around the martian north pole. The three best views obtained this month are shown here. The top (A) and bottom (C) views show many layers exposed and eroded into the form of ridges and troughs on shallow slopes within the martian north polar cap. The middle (B) view is a picture of the rugged, eroded polar ice cap surface itself. The layers are believed to have formed over tens to hundreds of thousands of years by deposition of dust and ice each cold martian winter. These surfaces today all appear to have been eroded. The brightest material in each image is frost--temperatures at this time of year indicate that the frost is composed of frozen water. In winter, temperatures can be cold enough to freeze carbon dioxide, as well.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/MSSS

Image Addition Date:
2001-01-13