Capturing an Avalanche on Mars


Hi-RISE, the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured this avalanche plunging down a 1,640-foot-tall (500-meter-tall) cliff on May 29, 2019. The image also reveals layers at Mars’ north pole during spring. As temperatures increase and vaporize ice, the destabilized ice blocks break loose and kick up dust.

Learn more as we mark the 15th anniversary since the launch of MRO, one of the oldest spacecraft at the Red Planet, which has provided glimpses of dust devils, avalanches, and more.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona