Winter Frosted Dunes in Kaiser Crater

Winter Frosted Dunes in Kaiser Crater
From NASA's Planetary Photojournal
As the Mars Global Surveyor Primary Mission comes an end, the southern hemisphere of Mars is in the depths of winter. At high latitudes, it is dark most, if not all, of the day. Even at middle latitudes, the sun shines only thinly through a veil of water and carbon dioxide ice clouds, and the ground is so cold that carbon dioxide frosts have formed. Kaiser Crater (47S, 340W) is one such place. At a latitude comparable to Seattle, Washington, Duluth, Minnesota, or Helena, Montana, Kaiser Crater is studied primarily because of the sand dune field found within the confines of its walls (lower center of the Mars Orbiter Camera image, above). The normally dark-gray or blue-black sand can be seen in this image to be shaded with light-toned frost. Other parts of the crater are also frosted. Kaiser Crater and its dunes were the subject of an earlier presentation of results. Close-up pictures of these and other dunes in the region show details of their snow-cover, including small avalanches. The two Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera images that comprise this color view were acquired on January 26, 2001.
Image Title: Winter Frosted Dunes in Kaiser Crater
Catalog #: PIA03206
Photo Target Name: Mars
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
Spacecraft/Mission: Mars Global Surveyor Orbiter

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 Last Modified On: Wednesday, February 28, 2001