Tag Archives: dust

When Mars gets weird

A piece of Mars: Mars can be a strange place. This is actually a sand dune on Mars not far from the north pole. Here it's imaged in the springtime when the dunes are still covered inĀ  bright CO2 frost, ...

Wintery dune

A piece of Mars: A single dune sits on the surface of Mars, not too far from the north pole. It's early spring, but this far north the dune is still covered in white CO2 frost (as well as a ...

Boulders on high

A piece of Mars: Right at the edge of the largest volcano on Mars (Olympus Mons) is a steep cliff. Here, near that edge, are some car-sized boulders poking out from a thick blanket of dust. Strong winds blow down ...

Relentless wind

A piece of Mars: This is what the relentless work of the wind can do. That vaguely circular structure in the center of the image is probably the remains of a ~150 m diameter impact crater. Since it formed, it's ...

Natural modern art on Mars

A piece of Mars: Abstract modern art? No, these are north polar dunes almost completely covered in winter frost (mostly CO2 ice). It's early spring in this image, and the dark sand underneath the ice is only just beginning to ...

The colors of geology

A piece of Mars: Here in the bottom of a crater in Coprates Chasma is the intersection of two sets of ripples: dark, dust-free ripples at the bottom of the crater, and lighter ripples formed from debris that has come ...

Modern art or windy Mars?

A piece of Mars: Is it modern art? Well maybe it looks like it from a distance. Up close, this is reality on Mars. These are dark dunes in the southern hemisphere, awaking from a long hibernation beneath bright winter ...

Giant crayons on Mars

A piece of Mars: There are vast plains on Mars that display criss-crossing streaks like this. These are ~5 m (~16 feet) across, give or take. Did an alien drive a dune buggy all over, leaving behind tracks? Nope. These ...

Rainbow dunes on Mars

A piece of Mars: The dark dune here seems to have a subtle rainbow color across it. Is it a real rainbow? Well, no. Part of it is that I've stretched the image to enhance color, so the dark dune ...

Mysterious textures

A piece of Mars: Dunes don't usually have a rough surface texture like these do. It's not clear what's going on. Are they ancient dunes that are being eroded? What causes this particular texture? It seems unique to high elevations ...