Illustration for article titled Its Late Spring on Mars, and the Frost Hasnt Quite Melted Yet

Just expand this image a little bit and you'll see amazing detail — that's frost forming on ripples of sand, its distinctive wrinkly appearance created by wind whipping along this slope on the inside of a Martian crater.


Image credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

This image was captured last month by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and shows a south-facing area inside the crater that's "approximately 1.5 by 3 kilometers." MRO researchers explain:

At this time of year only south-facing slopes retain the frost, while the north-facing slopes have melted. Gullies are not the only active geologic process going on here. A small crater is visible at the bottom of the slope.


Learn more about HiRISE on the official website.

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