Two new photo mosaics, created with images from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft now in orbit at Mars, may help scientistsunderstand what materials make up the exotic, multi- layers of the South Pole.
Scientists theorize that the thickness and the composition of the layers in the south polar region could hold a record of climate change in away that is similar to how years of drought and years of plentiful rain change the width of rings in a tree trunk on Earth. Because the southpolar terrain is so strange and new to human eyes, no one as yet has an entirely adequate explanation as to what is being seen. The layers maybe made up of frozen carbon dioxide, water ice and fine dusts that have been eroded over time.
The mosaics were produced by imaging team scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, AZ and the California Institute ofTechnology, Pasadena, CA. The Global Surveyor images are available at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov and http://www.msss.com.
Mars Global Surveyor is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is adivision of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
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