PIA04500: Frosty North Polar Layers
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: 540 x 810 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Malin Space Science Systems
Full-Res TIFF: PIA04500.tif (438.1 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA04500.jpg (65.32 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:
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-349, 3 May 2003

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image is a springtime view of frost-covered layers revealed by an eroded scarp in the martian north polar cap. The layers are thought to consist of a mixture of dust, ice, and possibly sand. Some layers are known to be a source for dark sand that occurs in nearby dunes. During the summer, this surface would be considerably darker because most of the bright frost sublimes away during the spring season. The picture covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) wide near 85.2N, 4.4W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Image Addition Date:
2003-05-05