Sunday, July 15, 2012

Frosted Gullies in Newton Crater

This image shows a crater wall in the southern hemisphere, with gully landforms.

Gullies like these are mostly found in the mid-latitudes, between 30-50 degrees north or south. In the Martian winter, frost (mostly carbon dioxide) can build up in the gullies, especially on the cold slopes that face the pole.

The bright, bluish (enhanced-color) frost can be clearly seen in the upper alcoves of gullies here. We now know that Martian gullies are active, and that most changes occur in the winter--it is likely that frost like this causes the activity in some way.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Note: This landscape is located on the eastern wall of Newton Crater. The Mars 3 landing site is located to the southwest of this location.

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