HiRISE Updates Week of 2017 Mar 06

See new, spectacular, or mysterious sky images.
User avatar
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 16905
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

HiRISE Updates Week of 2017 Mar 06

Post by bystander » Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:51 pm

Dan Berman wrote:

A Mass of Viscous Flow Features (ESP_048913_1330) (HiClip)

Viscous, lobate flow features are commonly found at the bases of slopes in the mid-latitudes of Mars, and are often associated with gullies.

These features are bound by ridges that resemble terrestrial moraines, suggesting that these deposits are ice-rich, or may have been ice-rich in the past. The source of the ice is unclear, but there is some thought that it is deposited from the atmosphere during periods of high obliquity, also known as axial tilt.

The flow features in this image are particularly massive and the bounding scarps appear very high standing and are layered as well. Take a look at the stereo anaglyph for a 3D view.

This is a stereo pair with ESP_048979_1330.
Alfred McEwen wrote:

The Entrance to Mawrth Vallis (ESP_049017_2060)

In Andy Weir’s “The Martian,” stranded astronaut Mark Watney drives from the Ares 3 landing site in Acidalia Planitia towards the Ares 4 landing site in Schiaparelli Crater via Mawrth Vallis. This image covers the entrance to Mawrth Vallis. (Have a look at the scene in 3D).

As you can tell, driving over this terrain will be much more difficult than it was depicted in the novel or the movie.

This is a stereo pair with ESP_048595_2060.
Alfred McEwen wrote:

Icy Flow in a Crater (ESP_049028_2065) (HiClip)

The material on the floor of this crater appears to have flowed like ice, and contains pits that might result from sublimation of subsurface ice. The surface is entirely dust-covered today. There probably was ice here sometime in the past, but could it persist at some depth?

This crater is at latitude 26 degrees north, and near-surface ice at this latitude (rather than further toward one of the poles) could be a valuable resource for future human exploration. A future orbiter with a special kind of radar instrument could answer the question of whether or not there is shallow ice at low latitudes on Mars.
Alfred McEwen wrote:

Seasonal Flows on Warm Slopes (ESP_049032_1670)

Recurring Slope Lineae (called “RSL”) are seasonally-repeating dark flows that are active at the warmest times of the year. Some of these grow from the top of the steep slope downwards as expected for liquid or granular flows.

Others show different darkening patterns, which suggests different processes. Although HiRISE has acquired many images to monitor RSL sites, it still is not certain how these features form.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

<< Previous HiRISE Update
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor