Tag Archives: mars

A mighty wind

A piece of Mars: I just adore that the wind can do this to a landscape. Over a long period of time, two different winds have scratched deep grooves in a rocky surface. Wind-carved rocks like this are called "yardangs". ...

Oh, gravity, the things you can do

A piece of Mars: Steep slopes in some parts of Mars are prone to very thin landslides that leave behind dark tracks. The landslides may be triggered by the wind or nearby impacts. They always move downslope -- in this ...

Feathered terrain up on Mt. Sharp, where Curiosity may one day go

A piece of Gale crater, Mars: Here is a tiny piece of feathery terrain way up high on Mt. Sharp, the mountain that Curiosity will one day climb. This is a special unit of fine-grained material that has weathered into ...

The dunes near Curiosity

A piece of Gale crater, Mars: Here are some of the large, dark dunes not far from where Curiosity has landed. They're pretty big monsters, 200-300 meters across. Their shape indicates they've been formed from two different wind directions: one ...

In Curiosity’s channel

A piece of Gale crater, Mars (Aug 11, 2012): This is a tiny portion of the ancient river channel that Curiosity will use to climb up Mt. Sharp in the coming year. It's a fascinating place, full of pale fractured ...

And the wind blew

A piece of Gale crater, Mars: These are rocks on Mount Sharp, where the Curiosity rover will be headed in the coming months. Like many of the surfaces in Gale crater, these have been streamlined by sandblasting over the eons. ...

Patch of blue

A piece of Mars: Most of the image, stretching beyond the edges of this frame, shows a bland gray landscape of lava blanketed in dust. But one small patch of blue shows where sand is still actively moving and piling ...

Barely a dune

A piece of Mars: What makes a dune different from a random pile of sand? Usually the requirement is that it has a "slipface", a steep avalanching slope. The central dune in the image here has a small one, making ...

Wrapping around

A piece of Mars: Dunes near the north pole of Mars form in a very cold environment. Winter ice continually tries to stop them in their tracks, which makes for unusually rounded dunes like these. (HiRISE ESP_027451_2635)

An intriguing mess

A piece of Mars: What an intriguing mess this is. These are dunes or ripples, oriented every which way, and mottled with white spots. The different orientations tell us that the winds blow from several different directions, on timescales long ...