In this photo by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, it is summer in the red planet’s southern hemisphere. The Sun hangs low in the Martian sky and strikes the ground at an oblique angle, throwing small variations in topography into sharp relief.
The lighter grey areas are the residual icecap of frozen carbon dioxide, now pocked with growing holes to produce what is sometimes called “Swiss cheese terrain”. The deeper circular feature at the top right of the image may be a crater caused by asteroid impact or it may be a pit resulting from the ground collapsing.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.