Image: Chasma Boreale, Mars

March 20, 2011
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

( -- Chasma Boreale, a long, flat-floored valley, cuts deep into Mars' north polar icecap.

Its walls rise about 4,600 feet, or 1,400 meters, above the floor. Where the edge of the ice cap has retreated, sheets of sand are emerging that accumulated during earlier ice-free climatic cycles. Winds blowing off the ice have pushed loose sand into dunes and driven them down-canyon in a westward direction.

This scene combines images taken during the period from December 2002 to February 2005 by the instrument on NASA's Mars Odyssey was part of a special series of images marking the orbiter as the longest-working in history.

Explore further: One Mars Orbiter Takes First Photos of Other Orbiters

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not rated yet Mar 20, 2011
I found my new desktop image. :)

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