Sand Ripples Inside a Rimless Martian Pit (Stretched)
This enhanced image shows the inside of a rimless pit about 180 meters (591 feet) in diameter, northwest of the mountain Ascraeus Mons in the northern hemisphere of Mars.
Newly released images from 340 recent observations of Mars by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show details of a wide assortment of Martian environments.

Strewn boulders and rippled sand lie on the floors of two shadowy, steep-walled pits. Mounds in another region appear to be mud volcanoes, which may have brought fine-grained material to the surface from deep underground. In the Tharsis volcanic region, the intersection of a lava flow with a trough caused by ground collapse allows seeing whether the flow happened before or after the collapse.

These and thousands of other images from HiRISE observations between Oct. 1 and Nov. 1, 2010, are now available on NASA's Planetary Data System (http://pds.jpl.nasa.gov/) and the camera team's website (http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu).

The camera is one of six instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which reached Mars in 2006. It has made more than 17,000 observations. Each observation covers an area of several square miles on Mars and reveals details as small as desks.

For more information about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission, see http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mro/.

2010-403

Guy Webster (818) 354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov

  • This enhanced image shows the inside of a rimless pit about 180 meters (591 feet) in diameter, northwest of the mountain Ascraeus Mons in the northern hemisphere of Mars.

    This enhanced image shows the inside of a rimless pit about 180 meters (591 feet) in diameter, northwest of the mountain Ascraeus Mons in the northern hemisphere of Mars. The pit has a very steep eastern wall (on the right) and a more gently sloped western wall. Shadows and overhangs obscure some of the interior, but this stretched-brightness... more

  • This enhanced image shows the inside of a rimless pit about 310 meters (1,017 feet) in diameter, northwest of the mountain Ascraeus Mons in the northern hemisphere of Mars.

    This enhanced image shows the inside of a rimless pit about 310 meters (1,017 feet) in diameter, northwest of the mountain Ascraeus Mons in the northern hemisphere of Mars. The pit has a very steep eastern wall (on the right) and more gently sloped western wall. Shadows and overhangs obscure some of the interior, but this stretched-brightness... more

  • Two dark, rimless pits are located to the northwest of Ascraeus Mons in the Tharsis volcanic region of Mars.

    Two dark, rimless pits are located to the northwest of Ascraeus Mons in the Tharsis volcanic region of Mars. These pits are approximately 180 meters (591 feet) and 310 meters (1,017 feet) in diameter. They are situated in the midst of a wispy, dark, boomerang-shaped deposit.

    The pits are aligned with what appear to be larger, degraded... more

  • This image shows a graben (a trough formed when the ground drops between two parallel faults) and a lava flow in the Tharsis volcanic province of Mars. North is up.

    This image shows a graben (a trough formed when the ground drops between two parallel faults) and a lava flow in the Tharsis volcanic province of Mars. North is up. The image covers an area about 6 kilometers (4 miles) wide.

    Relations like this can be used to establish the relative ages of features on the surface. The graben is from t... more

  • This proposed future Mars landing site in Acidalia Planitia targets densely occurring mounds thought to be mud volcanoes.

    This proposed future Mars landing site in Acidalia Planitia targets densely occurring mounds thought to be mud volcanoes.

    Mud volcanoes are geological structures formed when a mixture of gas, liquid and fine-grained rock (or mud) is forced to the surface from several meters to kilometers (several yards to miles) underground. Scientist... more

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