PIA05021: Polar Polygons
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: 671 x 1007 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Malin Space Science Systems
Producer ID: MOC2-586
Full-Res TIFF: PIA05021.tif (676.6 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA05021.jpg (190.4 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:

26 December 2003
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture displays polygons outlined by cracks in the martian south polar region. This southern summer view was acquired in October 2003 and is located near 86.9S, 170.6W. Polygons similar in size and shape to these are common in the arctic and antarctic regions of Earth. On Earth, they indicate the presence (or the past presence) of ground ice and the freeze-thaw cycles that accompany this ice. On Mars, whether ground ice was responsible for these landforms is uncertain, but their presence is suggestive that ground ice may exist or may once have existed in this region. The picture covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Image Addition Date:
2004-01-08