PIA21022: North Polar Cap Layers and Ledges
 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
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 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA21022.tif (15.56 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA21022.jpg (1.169 MB)

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At the edge of Mars' permanent North Polar cap, we see an exposure of the internal layers, each with a different mix of water ice, dust and dirt. These layers are believed to correspond to different climate conditions over the past tens of thousands of years.

When we zoom in closer, we see that the distinct layers erode differently. Some are stronger and more resistant to erosion, others only weakly cemented. The strong layers form ledges.

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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