PIA03956: Defrosting Sand
 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:  672 x 870 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Malin Space Science Systems
 Producer ID:  MOC2-1127
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA03956.tif (585.5 kB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA03956.jpg (141.7 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

19 June 2005
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows dark spots formed in carbon dioxide frost that covers the surfaces of patches of sand in the south polar region. As spring arrived this year in the martian southern hemisphere, so began the annual defrosting process. The fact that sand dunes begin to defrost earlier than other surfaces, and that the defrosting process involves the formation of spots like these, has been known since the earliest days of the MGS mission.

Location near: 66.8S, 15.7W
Image width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: upper left
Season: Southern Spring

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Image Addition Date: