Dramatic Lighting of Icy Flows

This image shows flow features (tongue-shaped features in the depressions running down the slope) on the inner slope of an impact crater east of Hellas impact basin.

The time of year combined with MRO’s orbit and the slope combine to provide the geometry for an image with almost glancing (very low sun) illumination. Such low-sun lighting enhances subtle topographic features and makes a dramatic image.

Other flows in this region of Mars, long thought to be due to flowing ice, have been confirmed to be icy by the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) experiment on MRO.

Written by: Alfred McEwen   (7 March 2012)

More info and image formats at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_025646_1440

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona