Image: Chasma Boreale, Mars

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

(PhysOrg.com) -- 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: From red Mars to green Earth

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Strange Martian Spirals Explained

Jun 16, 2010

Almost 40 years ago, NASA's Mariner 9 spacecraft relayed to Earth the first video images of Mars' northern polar ice cap, revealing a strange pattern of spiral swirls that has puzzled scientists ever since. ...

Winds of change strike Mars, too

Feb 03, 2011

Mysterious dark sand dunes around Mars' northern polar cap are shifting with the seasons, as carbon dioxide gas changes form and sparks landscape-altering avalanches, said a study published Thursday.

Recommended for you

Vegetables on Mars within ten years?

17 hours ago

The soil on Mars may be suitable for cultivating food crops – this is the prognosis of a study by plant ecologist Wieger Wamelink of Wageningen UR. This would prove highly practical if we ever decide to ...

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of a Saturn moon

18 hours ago

(Phys.org) —NASA's Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet's known ...

Meteorite studies suggest hidden water on Mars

18 hours ago

Geochemical calculations by researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology to determine how the water content of Mars has changed over the past 4.5 billion years suggest as yet unidentified reservoirs of water ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

alec123456789
not rated yet Mar 20, 2011
Wow!
I found my new desktop image. :)

More news stories

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of a Saturn moon

(Phys.org) —NASA's Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet's known ...

Vegetables on Mars within ten years?

The soil on Mars may be suitable for cultivating food crops – this is the prognosis of a study by plant ecologist Wieger Wamelink of Wageningen UR. This would prove highly practical if we ever decide to ...

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopa ...