PIA04795: Northern Plains Patterns
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: 513 x 770 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Malin Space Science Systems
Full-Res TIFF: PIA04795.tif (395.7 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA04795.jpg (108.3 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:
MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-513, 14 October 2003

Patterns are common on the northern plains of Mars. Like their terrestrial counterparts in places like Siberia, Alaska, and northern Canada, patterned ground on Mars might be an indicator of the presence of ground ice. Whether it is true that the patterns on Mars are related to ground ice and whether the ice is still present beneath the martian surface are unknown. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture shows an example of patterned ground on the martian northern plains near 72.4N, 252.6W. The dark dots and lines are low mounds and chains of mounds. The circular feature near the center of the image is the location of a buried meteor impact crater; its presence today is marked only by the dark boulders on its rim and ejecta blanket that have managed to remain uncovered at the martian surface. The area shown is 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and illuminated by sunlight from the lower left.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Image Addition Date:
2003-10-14