More From Mars

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  • NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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  • NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Here are some of the latest photos of Mars taken by the UA Lunar and Planetary Lab's HiRISE camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The upper image features dunes near the Martian north pole. Shane Byrne explains:

Multiple levels within the north polar layered deposits are visible in this HiRISE image.

The north polar layered deposits (NPLD) are a stack of dusty water-ice layers that are thought to record information about past Martian climates in the same way that ice-caps on the Earth record variations in our climate. These Martian layers are visible in the walls of troughs and scarps eroded into the stack. One such scarp-face is visible on the far left of the full image and decreases in height from left to right.

Scientists continue to debate the length of time required to