PIA05742: Summer South Polar Cap
 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
 Producer ID:  MOC2-695
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA05742.tif (1.05 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA05742.jpg (244.1 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:

13 April 2004
The martian south polar residual ice cap is composed mainly of frozen carbon dioxide. Each summer, a little bit of this carbon dioxide sublimes away. Pits grow larger, and mesas get smaller, as this process continues from year to year. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a view of a small portion of the south polar cap as it appeared in mid-summer in January 2004. The dark areas may be places where the frozen carbon dioxide contains impurities, such as dust, or places where sublimation of ice has roughened the surface so that it appears darker because of small shadows cast by irregularities in the roughened surface. The image is located near 86.9S, 7.6W. The image covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Image Addition Date:
2004-04-13