PIA08657: Dark Spots and Fans
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: 2001 Mars Odyssey
Spacecraft: 2001 Mars Odyssey
Instrument: THEMIS
Product Size: 523 x 881 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Arizona State University
Full-Res TIFF: PIA08657.tif (461.5 kB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA08657.jpg (101 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:

As winter turns to spring at the south polar ice cap of Mars, the rising sun reveals dark spots and fans emerging from the cold polar night. Using visual images (left) and temperature data (right) from the Thermal Emission Imaging system on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, scientists have built a new model for the origin of the dark markings. Scientists propose the markings come from dark sand and dust strewn by high-speed jets of carbon-dioxide gas. These erupt from under a layer of carbon-dioxide ice that forms each Martian winter.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Arizona State University

Image Addition Date:
2006-08-16