This view shows the texture of the ground in the area favored as a landing site for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander mission. The pattern resembles permafrost terrain on Earth, where cycles of thawing and freezing cause cracking into polygon shapes.
This is a subframe, covering a patch of ground about 700 meters (2,300 feet) across, from a larger image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 11, 2006. The full image, catalogued as PSP_001418_2495, shows an area of far-northern Mars centered at 69.2 degrees north latitude, 234.2 degrees east longitude.
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