Saturday, August 4, 2007

Northern Polar Region

Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Another hemispherical view of Mars, this time of the Martian northern polar region and taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter some time between late September and early October of 2006, during an instrument check. The Martian season at the time of these photographs is summer.

This image is a composite mosaic of four polar views of Mars, taken at midnight, 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. local Martian time. This is possible because during summer the sun is always shining in the polar region. It shows the mostly water-ice perennial cap (white area), sitting atop the north polar layered materials (light tan immediately adjacent to the ice), and the dark circumpolar dunes. This view shows the region poleward of about 72° north latitude, covering much of the Vastitas Borealis (the northern lowlands). In this mosaic, each pixel is equivalent to about 900 meters (about 3,000 feet) of the surface.

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