Press Release

New Global Surveyor photos reveal exotic Martian landscape

By SpaceRef Editor
April 10, 2000
Filed under

Mars Polar Caps
MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE

JET PROPULSION LABORATORY

CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011

Contact: Mary Hardin

IMAGE ADVISORY

Two new photo mosaics, created with images from NASA’s Mars
Global Surveyor spacecraft now in orbit at Mars, may help
scientists understand what materials make up the exotic, multi-
layers of the South Pole.

Scientists theorize that the thickness and the composition
of the layers in the south polar region could hold a record of
climate change in a way that is similar to how years of drought
and years of plentiful rain change the width of rings in a tree
trunk on Earth. Because the south polar terrain is so strange and
new to human eyes, no one as yet has an entirely adequate
explanation as to what is being seen. The layers may be made up
of frozen carbon dioxide, water ice and fine dusts that have been
eroded over time.

The mosaics were produced by imaging team scientists at the
U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, AZ and the California
Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA. The Global Surveyor images
are available at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/new or
http://www.msss.com.

Mars Global Surveyor is managed by the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory for NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.
JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in
Pasadena.

SpaceRef staff editor.