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Mysterious Feature Near the Martian South Pole

Mysterious Feature Near the Martian South Pole

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NASA / JPL / UA

Mysterious Feature Near the Martian South Pole
This circular depression on the south polar ice cap is about four kilometers across. It first caught the eye of Mars explorers in the 70s, and they still debate whether it's an impact crater or a collapse feature. The 'Swiss cheese' terrain consists of shallow pits where carbon dioxide ice has sublimated away. This landscape was imaged by the high-resolution camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on four separate occasions pictured here. From left to right: March 2013, May 2013, September 2007, and December 2012. Click to see at full size.

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.

Original image data dated on or about May 31, 2013

Explore related images: pretty pictures, Mars, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

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