Student Image of the Week: Layering Near Southern Polar Crater

This image was suggested by Vishal Bhalerao, a mechanical engineering student, from the K.K. Wagh Institute of Engineering Education in Maharashtra, India.

The image captures a small crater in the southern hemisphere near the south pole.

Much of the ground surface is covered by polygonal fractures, common in high-latitude areas. This suggests there is (or was) ice just below the surface at this location. There are also yardangs (long landforms sculpted by the wind) and dunes within the crater suggesting aeolian activity. Aeolian (wind-driven) processes are currently very active on the surface of Mars.

The dark and light patches at the top of the image are probably related to sublimation of carbon dioxide ice at this location.Written by: Alix Davatzes (HiRISE challenge caption)   (24 November 2007)

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Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona