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03.29.2017 A Decade of Compiling the Sharpest Mars Map
03.09.2017 Back-to-Back Martian Dust Storms
02.08.2017 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Observes Changes
01.25.2017 'Wing' Dike of Hardened Lava in New Mexico
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01.06.2017 Earth and Its Moon, as Seen From Mars
11.15.2016 Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars, Stereo
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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
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05.04.2015 Diverse Orbits Around Mars
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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
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