PIA13164: North Polar Cap Cross Section
Target Name: Mars
Is a satellite of: Sol (our sun)
Mission: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
Spacecraft: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
Instrument: Shallow Subsurface Radar (SHARAD)
Product Size: 1936 x 939 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: Italian Space Agency
Other Information: JPL News Release 2010-180
Full-Res TIFF: PIA13164.tif (1.82 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA13164.jpg (575.5 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

annotated image for PIA13164
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This image shows a cross-section of a portion of the north polar ice cap of Mars, derived from data acquired by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's Shallow Radar (SHARAD), one of six instruments on the spacecraft.

The data depict the region's internal ice structure, with annotations describing different layers. The ice depicted in this graphic is approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) thick and 250 kilometers (155 miles) across. White lines show reflection of the radar signal back to the spacecraft. Each line represents a place where a layer sits on top of another. Scientists study how thick the pancake-like layers are, where they bulge and how they tilt up or down to understand what the surface of the ice sheet was like in the past as each new layer was deposited.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/UT

Image Addition Date:
2010-05-26