PIA04862: South Polar Patterns
 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:  836 x 1254 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Malin Space Science Systems
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA04862.tif (1.05 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA04862.jpg (327.3 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:

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-540, 10 November 2003

This August 2003 Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture shows the defrosting floor of a pit in the south polar region near 71.7S, 1.6W. The surface exhibits an array of cracks and bands that are emphasized by frost. Some of these are polygons similar to those that form in Earth's arctic and antarctic regions by processes of freezing and thawing of ground ice. Other bands might represent exposures of layered bedrock. Whether there is ice beneath the ground that has influenced the pattern of cracks and bands is unknown. This picture covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated by sunlight from the upper left.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Image Addition Date:
2003-11-10