You might think that Mars is a very static place because it doesn’t have a ocean or atmosphere like ours on Earth, but NASA’s latest map of the Arctic crater tells people that the idea is wrong. The moving image is believed to have been provided by the HiRise camera team at the University of Arizona’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).
“Ice deposits between these craters shrink, expand or alter shape or surface structure year after year,” said Alfred McEwen, a planetary geologist at the University of Arizona and lead researcher at HiRise. “
The motion picture is based on nearly 12 years of images taken by MRO in early 2008, 2010, 2012, 2016, 2018 and 2019 — spanning six Mars years. Each Martian year covers 687 Earth days.
MrO entered Mars orbit in 2006, and its long life allows scientists to track landscape changes over time. Like Earth, Mars has four seasons, and the seasons there last longer.
The Martian North Pole is a particularly worthwhile spot, and HiRise has even seen avalanches in 2019.