I was exploring Mars in Google maps and I found these dark spots, like tree shadows on the north pole. I don't have any idea what they might be.

enter image description here

View this in Google maps.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm having a hard time tracking this down. The key, I believe, is to figure out what imager/spacecraft took this image. I can't really track down what data went into the google maps program this is from. There are numerous other, small, high-res scans of the north pole similar to this, leading me to believe it's a special scan from something like HiRISE on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, but I can't find a conclusive statement one way or the other. At best, this does appear to be in the visual spectrum, albeit with someone playing with the color contrasts. Perhaps someone else can give a try. $\endgroup$
    – zephyr
    Jun 19, 2017 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ Some of the "Mars pole dry ice eruption" pictures look similar: google.com/… $\endgroup$ Jun 22, 2017 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


They look similar to the "dark dune spots" of the southern hemisphere, associated with accumulation of melting liquid at the bottom of dunes during warming seasons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geyser_(Mars)

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @hartacus, but in the article said that this phenomena appeared on the south pole of mars. $\endgroup$ Jun 22, 2017 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ Yes it does, but they look similar. The description of liquid pooling at the low points between dunes, and associated filaments/streams, could match what's in your picture. So it may be a related phenomenon. Flowing liquid producing dark streaks had been documented elsewhere on Mars. $\endgroup$
    – hartacus
    Jun 22, 2017 at 21:25

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