PIA04653: Spiders from Mars?
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: PIA04653.tif (438.1 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA04653.jpg (119 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. MOC2-426, 19 July 2003

No, this is not a picture of a giant, martian spider web. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a plethora of polygonal features on the floor of a northern hemisphere impact crater near 65.6N, 327.7W. The picture was acquired during spring, after the seasonal carbon dioxide frost cap had largely migrated through the region. At the time the picture was taken, remnants of seasonal frost remained on the crater rim and on the edges of the troughs that bound each of the polygons. Frost often provides a helpful hint as to where polygons and patterned ground occur. The polygons, if they were on Earth, would indicate the presence of freeze-thaw cycles in ground ice. Although uncertain, the same might be true of Mars. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Image Addition Date:
2003-07-23