Vastitas Borealis - Surface


Unlike some the sites visited by the Viking and Pathfinder landers, nearly all the rocks near the Phoenix landing site on Vastitas Borealis are small. For about as far as the camera can see, the land is flat, but shaped into polygons. The polygons are between 2–3 m in diameter and are bounded by troughs that are 20 to 50 cm deep. These shapes are caused by ice in the soil reacting to major temperature changes. The top of the soil has a crust. The microscope showed that the soil is composed of flat particles (probably a type of clay) and rounded particles. When the soil is scooped up, it clumps together. Although other landers in other places on Mars have seen many ripples and dunes, no ripples or dunes are visible in the area of Phoenix. Ice is present a few inches below the surface in the middle of the polygons. Along the edge of the polygons the ice is at least 8 inches deep. When the ice is exposed to the Martian atmosphere it slowly disappears. In the winter there would be accumulations of snow on the surface.

Read more about this topic:  Vastitas Borealis

Other articles related to "surface, surfaces":

Surfaces in Geometry
... Polyhedra, such as the boundary of a cube, are among the first surfaces encountered in geometry ... It is also possible to define smooth surfaces, in which each point has a neighborhood diffeomorphic to some open set in E² ... This elaboration allows calculus to be applied to surfaces to prove many results ...
Disk Read-and-write Head - Description
... In a hard drive, the heads 'fly' above the disk surface with clearance of as little as 3 nanometres ... of an air-bearing etched onto the disk-facing surface of the slider ... the flying height constant as the head moves over the surface of the disk ...
Veterans Stadium - Playing Surface
... The field's surface, originally composed of AstroTurf, contained many gaps and uneven patches ... Baseball players also complained about the surface ... It was much harder than other AstroTurf surfaces, and the shock of running on it often caused back pain ...
Geodetic Datum
... a datum is a set of reference points on the Earth's surface against which position measurements are made and (often) an associated model of the shape of the Earth (reference ellipsoid) to define a geodetic ... datums are used for describing a point on the Earth's surface, in latitude and longitude or another coordinate system ... In engineering and drafting, a datum is a reference point, surface, or axis on an object against which measurements are made ...
Roman Surface
... The Roman surface or Steiner surface (so called because Jakob Steiner was in Rome when he thought of it) is a self-intersecting mapping of the real projective plane into three-dimensional space, with an ... and latitude (φ), gives parametric equations for the Roman surface as follows x = r2 cos θ cos φ sin φ y = r2 sin θ cos φ sin φ z = r2 cos θ sin θ cos2 φ ... of the xy-, yz-, and xz-planes are tangential to the surface there ...

Famous quotes containing the word surface:

    I have passed down the river before sunrise on a summer morning, between fields of lilies still shut in sleep; and when, at length, the flakes of sunlight from over the bank fell on the surface of the water, whole fields of white blossoms seemed to flash open before me, as I floated along, like the unfolding of a banner, so sensible is this flower to the influence of the sun’s rays.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    The surface of the ground in the Maine woods is everywhere spongy and saturated with moisture.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    All the aspects of this desert are beautiful, whether you behold it in fair weather or foul, or when the sun is just breaking out after a storm, and shining on its moist surface in the distance, it is so white, and pure, and level, and each slight inequality and track is so distinctly revealed; and when your eyes slide off this, they fall on the ocean.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)