Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Reveals Ice Block Avalanche

MRO Reveals Ice Block Avalanche

North Polar layered deposits of Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

One of the most actively changing areas on Mars are the steep edges of the North Polar layered deposits. This image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) shows many new ice blocks compared to an earlier image in December 2006.

Ice Block Avalanche

A section of ice cliff on Mars collapsed. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

The above animation shows one example, where a section of ice cliff collapsed. The older image (acquired in bin-2 mode) is not as sharp as the newer one.

HiRISE has been re-imaging regions first photographed in 2006 through 2007, six Mars years ago. This long baseline allows us to see large, rare changes as well as many smaller changes.

The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colorado. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

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