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Polar Diving
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Polar Diving

November 16, 2011
This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows layers exposed by erosion in a trough within the north polar residual cap of Mars, diving beneath a younger covering of polar materials. The layers have, since the Mariner 9 mission in 1972, been interpreted to be composed of a combination of dust and ice in unknown proportions. In this scene, a layer of solid carbon dioxide, which was deposited during the previous autumn and winter, blankets the trough as well as the adjacent terrain. Throughout northern spring, the carbon dioxide will be removed; by summer, the layers will be frost-free. (3 July 2006)

Credits: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems


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