NASA's Mars Global Surveyor shows polar polygonal patterns on the surface of the south polar region on Mars.

30 May 2004
Seasonal frost can enhance the view from orbit of polar polygonal patterns on the surface of Mars. Sometimes these patterns look something like a city map, or the view from above a city lit-up at night. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows an example from the south polar region near 80.7°S, 70.6°W. Polar polygons on Mars are generally believed, though not proven, to be the result of freeze/thaw cycles of ice occurring within the upper few meters (several yards) of the martian subsurface. The image shown here covers an area about 3 km (1.9 mi) across; sunlight illuminates the scene from the upper left.

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