NASA’s HiRISE Views Gullies in Winter Shadow

HiRISE Views Gullies in Winter Shadow

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

This newly released HiRISE image shows gullies on the surface of Mars.

This is an odd-looking image. It shows gullies during the winter while entirely in the shadow of the crater wall. Illumination comes only from the winter skylight.

We acquire such images because gullies on Mars actively form in the winter when there is carbon dioxide frost on the ground, so we image them in the winter, even though not well illuminated, to look for signs of activity. The dark streaks might be signs of current activity, removing the frost, but further analysis is needed.

NB: North is down in the cutout, and the terrain slopes towards the bottom of the image.

The map is projected here at a scale of 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) per pixel. [The original image scale is 62.3 centimeters (24.5 inches) per pixel (with 2 x 2 binning); objects on the order of 187 centimeters (73.6 inches) across are resolved.] North is up. Full image.

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