02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
01.25.2017 Blade-Like Martian Walls Outline Polygons
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
03.21.2016 For a Decade Orbiting Mars: One Recent View
03.09.2016 For a Decade Orbiting Mars: One Recent View
03.09.2016 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter By the Numbers
03.01.2016 MRO sees Frosty Spring Slopes
02.12.2016 Women in Science
02.10.2016 Wind at Work
11.16.2015 Change Observed in Martian Sand Dune
10.05.2015 'The Martian' Story's Ares 4 Landing Site
10.05.2015 The Ares 3 Landing Site (Figure A)
09.30.2015 Avalanche Ho!
06.29.2015 Mars Exploration Zone Layout Considerations
06.17.2015 Active High-Latitude Dune Gullies
06.03.2015 Crisp Crater in Sirenum Fossae
05.20.2015 Sedimentary Rock Layers on a Crater Floor
05.20.2015 Honey, I Shrunk the Mesas
05.11.2015 Icy Wonderland
05.04.2015 Diverse Orbits Around Mars
03.27.2015 South Pole Spiders
03.27.2015 A Smile a Day....
03.25.2015 Pitted Landforms in Southern Hellas Planitia
03.12.2015 Curiosity Heading Away from 'Pahrump Hills'
02.18.2015 Lava Flow Near the Base of Olympus Mons
02.09.2015 Yardangs in Arsinoes Chaos, Mars
02.04.2015 Curiosity Rover at 'Pahrump Hills'
01.22.2015 Frost on Crater Slope
01.16.2015 Components of Beagle 2 Flight System on Mars
12.03.2014 An Enigmatic Feature in Athabasca Lava Flows
12.02.2014 NASA's Journey to Mars
11.07.2014 Mars Orbiter Sizes Up Passing Comet
Icy Layers and Climate Fluctuations near the Martian North PoleThe Martian north polar layered deposits are an ice sheet much like the Greenland ice sheet on the Earth. Just as with the ice sheet in Greenland this Martian ice sheet contains many layers that record variations in the Martian climate. Sometimes icy layers can be ablated away during warm climates. Later the ice sheet can be buried by new ice layers and grow in size again. It's likely that many of these cycles have occurred over the ice sheet's history.
The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recorded this image of north polar layered deposits on March 11, 2010. The target for this observation was a suggestion submitted by Greg Clements through the camera team's HiWish public-suggestion program. For more information about how to submit target suggestions, see http://uahirise.org/hiwish/.
Fluctuations in the thickness of the ice sheet are most pronounced at the edges of the sheet, where this HiRISE image was taken. The ice sheet ends here in a gentle scarp that slopes about eight degrees downhill from bottom to top in this image. The layering within the ice is exposed on this sloping surface. The thickness of the ice here is about 1 kilometer (about 3300 feet). Scientists are analyzing these layers to see what information they might hold regarding previous Martian climates.
This image covers a swath of ground about 1 kilometer (about two-thirds of a mile) wide. It is a portion of HiRISE observation ESP_016973_2595, which is centered at 79.30 degrees north latitude, 351.46 degrees east longitude. The season on Mars is northern-hemisphere spring. Other image products from this observation are available at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_016973_2595.
Color images from HiRISE combine information from detectors with three different color filters: red, infrared, and blue-green. Thus they include information from part of the spectrum human eyes cannot see and are not true color as the eye would see. The resulting false color helps to show differences among surface materials.
The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates the HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona