Tag Archives: ice

Light and dark

A Piece of Mars: This 0.96x0.54 km (0.6x0.34 mi) late winter scene is a study in contrast. The dark top half is uniformly rippled. This is the shady surface of the main windward side of one of Mars' biggest dunes, ...

Shades and textures

A Piece of Mars: This 480x270 m (0.3x0.17 mi) scene shows the contact between two very different terrains. On the left is a bright surface with polygonal cracks (characteristic of periglacial terrain - this is at a high latitude). On ...

Eroded dune

A Piece of Mars: Barchan dunes on Mars have a characteristic crescent shape, with a steep slope ("slip face") on the inside of the sharpest curve (see examples like this, this, these, or this). This image (873x491 m, or 0.54x0.31 ...

How to hide geology on Mars

A Piece of Mars: Three things are trying to hide in this 0.96x0.48 km (0.6x0.3 mi) scene. 1) Craters are slowly being both scoured and buried by migrating sand, 2) the sand itself is hiding in the lee of crater ...

Springtime for sand dunes and polar ice

A Piece of Mars: This 480x270 m (0.3x0.17 mi) scene shows a dark dune peeking out from under its cover of winter frost. In this picture it's late spring, but still cold up at this latitude - it's as far ...

Frosty dunes

A piece of Mars: In this image (0.96x0.54 km or 0.6x0.33 mi), it's late winter and the sun is barely above the horizon here near the north pole. The dunes are covered in winter frost, most of which is CO2 ...

Rivers of freezing gas

A piece of Mars: This 600x450 m (1969x1476 ft) polar scene shows sinuous channels 2-8 m (7-26 ft) wide carved out of ice-filled and ice-covered terrain. They're not formed by flowing water, but instead by flowing gas that gets trapped ...

Summery dune

A piece of Mars: Last December I blogged about a picture of a sand dune taken in early northern spring. This is the same dune, without frost, now that summer has come to the northern hemisphere and all the frost ...

Swirly rocks

A piece of Mars: Never mind the 4 m (13 ft) boulders that have fallen downslope, or the rippled sandy surfaces here. Look at those bright swirls in the ground. Those are the former interiors of sand dunes, which were ...

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, ...