Date: 13 Feb 2010
Polygonal shapes like these are mostly found in the northern lowlands of Mars. The ridges are lighter colored because they are covered in bright frost. It is possible that patterned ground on Mars formed as the result of cyclic thermal contraction cracking the permanently frozen ground.
This is an enhanced-color view generated from images acquired by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
Images from the HiRISE instrument and additional information about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are available online at: http://HiRISE.lpl.arizona.edu and http://www.nasa.gov/mro.
JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.
Last Update: 8 Jun 2011 (AMB)
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona