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Rippling ice and storms at Mars’ north pole

14 Jan 2020, 10:00 UTC
Rippling ice and storms at Mars’ north pole
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

View larger. | )n November 16, 2006 – during orbit 3670 – ESA’s Mars Express captured the data to make this beautiful image of the icy cap at Mars’ north pole. You can see bright swathes of ice, dark troughs and depressions, and signs of strong winds and stormy activity. Image via ESA.
The European Space Agency (ESA) released this image of Mars’ north pole in January 2020, to coincide with the Seventh International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration, which is taking place this week (January 13-17, 2020) in Argentina. ESA’s Mars Express orbiter – second-longest surviving, continually active spacecraft in orbit around a planet other than Earth – captured the image. It shows Mars’ icy north polar cap with bright swathes of ice, dark troughs and depressions, and signs of strong winds and stormy activity. ESA described the image this way:
Dark red and ochre-hued troughs appear to cut through the ice cap. These form part of a wider system of depressions that spiral outwards from the very center of the pole. When viewed on a larger scale [as in the map below] … this pattern becomes evident: the rippling troughs curve and bend and slice ...

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