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The seasonal behaviour of ice and features in craters at the Northern Polar Region of Mars
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This Master Thesis work in Space Engineering was conducted at NASA Ames Research Center. It is a pre-study to understand how the Martian weather conditions affect water and carbon dioxide ice annually in craters, located in the Northern Polar Region (NPR) of Mars. Different (known and unknown) features have been investigated when observing the 87 craters included in this work and located poleward of 60° in latitude. These craters are studied with images from CTX and HiRISE mainly, but also from CRISM. There are many images taken by both CTX and HiRISE of the craters over seasons, acquired from 2006 to 2008. Over 500 possible crater images were examined. To make a good scientific observation and a satisfactory description of the ice amount and features covering the crater, a sort out of some insignificant data was needed. Only images where the crater is visible and easily identifiable have been used, i.e., not obscured by any clouds, dust storms or even glaring from the Sun to the camera. The 87 craters chosen to be investigated on the NPR have been carefully selected. Only craters larger than 10 km in were monitored, unless they have a given name. Since large craters are created by high energy impacts and cause a more complex crater, they are more interesting for this study. All craters were localized on a virtual spherical map over Mars and pinned to be saved in a folder, so that the observed place/surface/image is easily found again. To organize the entire collection of image data from varying solar longitude, of every 87 craters, a database called Information on Craters in the Martian Northern Polar Region was created by the writer and Angelique Bertilsson. The database is in addition to organize all the collected data, also designed to better, faster and easier use the information collected. For future scientific study of this work, Information on Craters in the Martian NPR will probably in the future be a public tool on a website easily accessible for scientist and students to use. Through this work both expected and unexpected seasonal variations have been observed. Theories of why the ice behaves, as it does, and how the features change seasonally are explained and discussed in this work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Physics Chemistry Maths, Seasonal, behaviour, ice, ices, features, feature, defrosting, polygonal patterns, dark dune spots, dunes, dust, devils, Craters, crater, Northern, north, Polar, residual ice, Region, Mars, water, carbon dioxide, summer, winter, sublimation, deposit, NASA, SETI, features
Keyword [sv]
Fysik, Kemi, Matematik
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-54096ISRN: LTU-EX--10/056--SELocal ID: b1261359-d66f-437a-8024-a64898a4a821OAI: diva2:1027476
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Space Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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