Mars-o-philes rejoice! New images from Mars galore, including this “after” image of Mars’ northern hemisphere which reveals a new crater was created sometime between April 2004 and January 2010. Intriguingly, scientists believe exposed ice is visible in this new image from the HiRISE camera. This is just one of the latest release of hundreds of high-resolution HiRISE images, so go get your fill of Mars at the HiRISE site. But what about that ice?
The crater is at a latitude of 44 degrees North and is itself located on the ejecta of a larger crater. The image was acquired in early summer, when frost at this latitude is not expected. That’s why the HiRISE science team believes the bright blue material in this false-color color image is sub-surface ice that was exposed by the impact.
This ice is probably at the same depth and has a similar origin to that excavated by the Phoenix lander back in 2008. The area of exposed ice based on the HiRISE images is about 1-2 square meters (10-20 square feet.
An intriguing image, and a great example of the treasures available in this newest release of images from Mars.
For more images, see the HiRISE website.