This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows one of these icy lobate features wrapping around a small hill. Many lobate features are now known to be almost pure ice, like glaciers on the Earth.
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Martian Glaciers and Brain Terrain

Scientists now know that Mars has a lot more ice than once thought. Many lobate features are now known to be almost pure ice, like glaciers on the Earth.

We still don't know for sure if these Martian ice deposits flow like Earth's glaciers. Knowing how fast they flow (if at all!) would help us understand more about the climate of Mars and how it has changed over time.

This image shows one of these icy lobate features wrapping around a small hill. There is an unusual texture on the ice at the base of this hill that people have called “brain terrain.” This strange-looking surface might be related to flow of the ice, but we still don't have a definite explanation for this mystery.

HiRISE is one of six instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates the orbiter's HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image details

ID#:
PIA17629

Date added:
2013-09-18

Target:
Mars

Mission:
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Spacecraft:
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)

Instruments:
High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE)

Rating:



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821

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA17629.tif (15.56 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA17629.jpg (1.05 MB)

Image credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona