PIA20744: Slope Instability
 Target Name:  Mars
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
 Spacecraft:  Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)
 Instrument:  HiRISE
 Product Size:  2880 x 1800 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  University of Arizona/HiRISE-LPL
Other products from ESP_037700_1710
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA20744.tif (5.191 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA20744.jpg (922.9 kB)

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One small section of this image shows boulders that have rolled down the slope of a crater wall. The boulders vary in size, with the largest one approximately 6 meters across. Unlike the boulder in a previous image, this one is not standing on end. We can tell by using the sun angle and shadow length to figure out the height and then comparing that to its other measurements.

We can determine the origin of the boulders by tracing their up-slope tracks. They appear to come from one small part of the crater wall that is less stable than surrounding materials. It is likely that there have been numerous rockfall events from this area, as suggested by the many boulders down-slope of this area, some with clear tracks and others with indistinct or no tracks visible.

The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

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