PIA25987: Muddy Mounds
 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:  PIA25987.tif (5.191 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA25987.jpg (1.613 MB)

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The northern lowlands of Mars in this location are stippled with mounds, such as those visible throughout this image. These lighter-toned circular mounds with bowl-shaped depressions are easy to spot against the darker-toned floor. Scientists think these landforms are similar to mud volcanoes that are also found here on Earth.

Mud volcanoes form as gas and liquid-rich sediment interacts underground. Over time, this slurry of mud is brought to the surface and forms a rounded mound. Scientists are interested in studying mud volcanoes on Mars because the material forming the mound has the potential to be organic in nature and would give insight into possible microbial life below the surface.

The map is projected here at a scale of 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) per pixel. (The original image scale is 59.8 centimeters [23.5 inches] per pixel [with 2 x 2 binning]; objects on the order of 180 centimeters [70.9 inches] across are resolved.) North is up.

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

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

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