Category: HiRISE images

HiRISE images

Who wins in the fight of wind vs. ice?

A Piece of Mars: This is the crest of one of the largest dunes on Mars (0.5x0.5 km or 0.31x0.31 mi). The wind mostly blows from the right, slowly pushing sand up the windward slope. But frost accumulates on (and ...

Mars’ yin-yangs

A Piece of Mars: Is this 480x270 m (0.3x0.17 mi) scene showing a 150 m (492 ft) wide yin-yang symbol on Mars? Sort of, maybe, if you blur your eyes and lend me artistic license, but it's not doing so ...

The two-faced dunes of Mars

A Piece of Mars: The focus of this 0.96x0.96 km (0.6x0.6 mi) scene is one of many two-faced dunes on Mars. The bright sunlit slope is one face, formed recently by wind blowing from the upper right. The dark shaded ...

Dunes + Craters = Mars

A Piece of Mars: How do you tell when a planetary landscape shows Mars, instead of Mercury or the Moon or Europa? The easiest way to tell is to look for both craters and dunes, like what's shown here in ...

Dunes carving up rock (3D)

A Piece of Mars: Get out your 3D blue/red glasses (or look here for a 2D version if you can't find them). This is a 3.2x1.8 km (2x1.13 mi) scene showing dark dunes carving lanes 50-70 m (165-230 ft) deep ...

Tortoise and hare

A Piece of Mars: There's a lot of evidence for both fast and slow movement in this 480x270 m (0.3x0.17 mi) scene. The tortoise: The rippled surface at the top is high ground: the top of a dune. Wind pushes ...

Crater ejecta on old ripples

A Piece of Mars: Mars rarely does anything without drama. Long ago in this 0.96x0.54 km (0.6x0.34 mi) scene, large ripples formed and then, presumably, lithified (turned into rock). Some time after that, an impact formed the crater in the ...

Steno’s principles, or “how to make sense of pretty landscapes”

A Piece of Mars: Nicholas Steno was a 19th century geologist, who came up with some principles that are still used today to guide interpretation of exposed sedimentary rocks. The principles seem a bit obvious, but then some of the ...

The trail of a dune

A Piece of Mars: A low, broad dune occupies the center of this 800x450 m (0.5x0.28 mi) scene, blown by a dominant wind towards the lower left. The slip face on the lee side has several small avalanches, formed as ...

Them that make ripples and them that don’t

A Piece of Mars: Higher ground is to the left. You're seeing a tan layer sandwiched between two gray layers in this 0.96x0.54 km (0.6x0.34 mi) scene. Large ripples have accumulated in the lowest area to the right, which is ...