A Winter’s Space Images of a Gullied Crater
This is the location with the most impressive known gully activity in the Northern hemisphere. Gullies are active in the winter due to carbon dioxide frost, but northern winters are shorter and warmer than southern winters, so there is less frost and less gully activity.An enhanced-color image cutout shows recent gullies with bright colors.
Gullied Crater. This image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) shows the location with the most impressive known gully activity
The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington.
The $720 million MRO mission has been circling Mars for more than 11 years, studying the planet’s geology and climate, searching for signs of liquid water activity, and scouting out possible landing locations for future robotic and crewed missions, among other tasks. MRO also serves as a communications relay link between robots on the Martian surface, such as NASA’s Opportunity and Curiosity rovers, and their handlers back on Earth.
MRO and its instruments remain in good shape despite the spacecraft’s relatively advanced age, NASA officials have said.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
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