Mars Ice Pits
Image courtesy U. Arizona/NASA
Rounded walls of pits create blob-like patterns across Mars’s southern ice cap in a picture from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter released September 7.
Although most of the carbon dioxide ice on Mars is seasonal, a roughly ten-foot-thick (three-meter-thick) layer on the red planet’s south pole stays cold enough to remain year-round.
The color outlining the flat-bottomed pits may be due to dust mixed into the ice, as summertime heat defrosts parts of the pit walls.