NASA's HiRISE camera captures this strange pit on Mars | See pic
The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), a camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), captured this strange cone-shaped pit in the south polar region of Mars.
Just like ice cores taken from Greenland and Antarctica, the Red Planet also has fine-scale layered deposits in both its north and south polar regions. Referred to as the Polar Layered Deposits (PLD), these deposits are believed to have been formed by the deposition of material from the atmosphere, primarily water ice, dry ice and dust, over millions of years.
According to the HiRISE team, this image is part of a stereo pair covering this strange pit on the edge of the South Polar residual cap. This will be the third stereo pair acquired by the camera over this feature to measure any alterations in the depth and shape of the pit over time, as it could be in the process of collapsing due to the depletion of carbon dioxide ice from beneath the surface.
The polar ice caps of Mars are one of the several interesting features seen on the planet. Layered deposits at the south pole of Mars are of great interest to scientists, as they could provide insight into the planet's past climate and environment. They could also provide clues to the formation of the planet's surface features, such as its polar ice caps. In addition, the deposits could provide evidence of past life on Mars.
HiPOD: A Cone-Shaped Pit on South Polar DepositsThis image is part of a stereo pair covering this strange pit on the edge of the South Polar residual cap, acquired to measure any changes in the depth and shape over time.https://t.co/h9OHhaGdjWNASA/JPL-Caltech/UArizona#Mars pic.twitter.com/rRKF7kt9CN— HiRISE: Beautiful Mars (NASA) (@HiRISE) January 18, 2023
The scientific community has found NASA's HiRISE camera to be an invaluable asset in their research of Mars, and its images have been featured in numerous scientific papers and publications.