02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.26.2017 Mono Lake
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
01.25.2017 Blade-Like Martian Walls Outline Polygons
01.23.2017 Spirit And Opportunity By The Numbers
01.10.2017 Mars 2020 Rover - Artist's Concept
01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
12.13.2016 Now and Long Ago at Gale Crater, Mars
12.13.2016 Where's Boron? Mars Rover Detects It
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
11.03.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, in Color
10.17.2016 MAVEN Captures Rapid Cloud Formation
10.17.2016 Mars' Nightside Atmosphere
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Image Near Mars' South Pole
10.17.2016 Ultraviolet Mars Reveals Cloud Formation
10.05.2016 Dust Haze Hiding the Martian Surface in 2001
10.04.2016 Test of Lander Vision System for Mars 2020
10.03.2016 A Sharpened Ultraviolet View of Mars
10.03.2016 Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Murray Buttes'
10.03.2016 Butte 'M9a' in 'Murray Buttes' on Mars
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 5)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 4)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 3)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 2)
09.09.2016 Farewell to Murray Buttes (Image 1)
08.26.2016 Out-of-this-World Records
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Is New Social Media Game
08.04.2016 Mars Rover Social Media Game
08.02.2016 Artist Concept for RIMFAX
07.20.2016 Viking 40 Year Anniversary Artwork: Medal
07.18.2016 Mars 2020 Range Trigger
07.14.2016 NASA to Launch Mars Rover in 2020
Gullies at the Edge of Hale Crater, MarsThis image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows gullies near the edge of Hale crater on southern Mars. The view covers an area about 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) across and was taken on Aug. 3, 2009.
Martian gullies carved into hill slopes and the walls of impact craters were discovered several years ago. Scientists are excited to study these features because, on Earth, they usually form through the action of liquid water -- long thought to be absent on the Martian surface. Whether liquid water carves gullies under today's cold and dry conditions on Mars is a major question that planetary scientists are trying to answer.
The gullies pictured here are examples of what a typical Martian gully looks like. You can see wide V-shaped channels running downhill (from top to bottom) where the material that carved the gully flowed. At the bottom of the channel this material empties out onto a fan-shaped mound. The fans from each gully overlap one other in complicated ways. At the tops of the channels, large amphitheater-shaped alcoves are carved in the rock. The material removed from these alcoves likely flowed downhill to the aprons through the gullies.
The terrain in this image is at 36.5 degrees south latitude, 322.7 degrees east longitude.
Gullies at this site are especially interesting because scientists recently discovered actively changing examples at similar locations. Images separated by several years showed changes in the appearance of some of these gullies. Today, planetary scientists are using the HiRISE camera to examine gullies such as the one in this image for change that might provide a clue about whether liquid water occurs on the surface of Mars.
Full-frame images from this HiRISE observation, catalogued as ESP_014153_1430, are at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_014153_1430. The image was taken at 2:21 p.m. local Mars time, with the sun 54 degrees above the horizon. The season was summer in the southern hemisphere of Mars.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona