May 27, 2008
Looking out Across the Martian Polar Plains
This movie shows the vast plains of the northern polar region of Mars, as seen by NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander shortly after touching down on the Red Planet. The flat landscape is strewn with tiny pebbles and shows polygonal cracking, a pattern seen widely in Martian high latitudes and also observed in permafrost terrains on Earth. The polygonal cracking is believed to have resulted from seasonal freezing and thawing of surface ice.