Global Surveyor Provides New Views of Martian North Pole
22 Oct 1998
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
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New images of the Martian north polar cap, taken by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor on July 30, 1998, as the spacecraft swept over this enigmatic region of the planet, reveal a slope along the edge of the permanent north polar cap of Mars with dozens of layers of Martian material, many more layers than were visible to the Viking Orbiters in the mid-1970s.
The images were presented by the Mars Global Surveyor camera team at this week's meeting of the First International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration in Houston, TX, and are available on the Internet at:
Since discovery of this layered terrain in the early 1970s, scientists have wanted to study the polar caps in greater detail to understand cyclic changes in the Martian climate. Several instruments onboard Mars Global Surveyor have returned enough data now to allow them to begin profiling geologic processes that may have sculpted these largely uncharted areas.