Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Views Seasonal Flows in Valles Marineris

HiRISE Views Seasonal Flows in Valles Marineris on Mars

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this image of recurring slope lineae on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

NASA’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment captured this new image of seasonal flows on the surface of Mars.

Recurring slope lineae are seasonal flows on warm slopes, and are especially common in central and eastern Valles Marineris, as seen in this observation by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This image covers a large area full of interesting features, but the enhanced color closeup highlight some of the recurring slope lineae.

Here, the recurring slope lineae are active on east-facing slopes, extending from bouldery terrain and terminating on fans. Perhaps the fans themselves built up over time from the seasonal flows. Part of the fans with abundant recurring slope lineae are dark, while the downhill portion of the fans are bright. The role of water in recurring slope lineae activity is a matter of active debate.

The original image scale is 52.6 centimeters (20.7 inches) per pixel (with 2 x 2 binning); objects on the order of 158 centimeters (62.2 inches) across are resolved. The map is projected here at a scale of 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) per pixel. North is up.

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