Clouds Over the North Pole
About this image
The atmosphere of Mars is a dynamic system. Water-ice clouds, fog, and hazes can make imaging the surface from space difficult. Dust storms can grow from local disturbances to global sizes, through which imaging is impossible. Seasonal temperature changes are the usual drivers in cloud and dust storm development and growth.
Eons of atmospheric dust storm activity has left its mark on the surface of Mars. Dust carried aloft by the wind has settled out on every available surface; sand dunes have been created and moved by centuries of wind; and the effect of continual sand-blasting has modified many regions of Mars, creating yardangs and other unusual surface forms. Like yesterday's image, the linear 'ripples' are water-ice clouds. As spring is deepening at the North Pole these clouds are becoming more prevalent.
Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images.