Diffuse Winter Lighting of the Chasma Boreale Scarp

Sunlight was just starting to reach the high Northern latitudes in late winter when HiRISE captured this image of part of the steep scarps around portions of the North Polar layered deposits.

The sunlight is highly diffused by atmospheric scattering, with the sun less than 0.5 degrees above the horizon. This diffuse light gives the image a unique appearance, almost like a painting . The surface is entirely covered by carbon dioxide frost mixed with dust.

Written by: Alfred McEwen (audio by Tre Gibbs)   (8 August 2013)

More info and image formats at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_032559_2645

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona