PIA04162: The Defrosting South
 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 1624 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Malin Space Science Systems
 Producer ID:  MOC2-1189
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA04162.tif (1.093 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA04162.jpg (194.2 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

20 August 2005
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows varied springtime patterns formed in defrosting, seasonal carbon dioxide frost in the south polar region of Mars. The feature sporting an outline of dark spots and an interior of smaller, closely-spaced dark spots and dark-outlined polygons is a patch of windblown or wind-eroded sand that was covered by carbon dioxide frost during the previous autumn and winter. The fainter, larger polygon pattern on either side of the patch of defrosting sand is formed in the substrate upon which the sand patch is sitting. Polygonal forms such as these might indicate the presence of ice below the surface.

Location near: 79.6S, 125.0W
Image width: width: ~3 km (~1.9 mi)
Illumination from: upper left
Season: Southern Spring

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Image Addition Date:
2005-08-20