The thermal environment of recurring slope lineae on Mars

Post by Dr. Norbert Schorghofer. Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute

Recurring slope lineae (RSL) are dark narrow streaks on Mars that have puzzled scientists since their discovery in 2011. Image 1 shows a 3-dimensional perspective of a landscape with some of these flow features. RSL form and grow annually and mostly in the warm season, so the mechanism by which they form and grow is tantalizing. To what extent are RSL related to temperature or water? In rugged terrain there are stark temperature contrasts between pole‐facing and equator‐facing slopes that infrared cameras on Mars-orbiting spacecraft cannot spatially resolve. New modeling capabilities make it possible to overcome this limitation and provide surface temperatures at high spatial resolution.

image1_PIA14479

Image 1: An image combining orbital imagery with 3-D modeling shows RSL on a slope inside Newton Crater. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona.

(more…)

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Blog Stats

    • 107,163 hits
  • Io

  • Mercury Tectonics