HiRISE images

Winds in Gale crater, ancient and young
Published 9/25/2012 in Lori Fenton's Blog Author lfenton
A piece of Gale crater, Mars: Cream-colored ripples wind their way through rough terrain. Looking more closely, the rocky surface seems to be made of highly eroded parallel ridges that are nearly perpendicular to most of the ripples. These ridges might be a remnant of much older (and larger) wind-blown ripples. When Curiosity drives over a surface like this one, we will be able to do more than just speculate about it. (HiRISE ESP_024102_1755) read more ❯

Squooshed craters
Published 9/19/2012 in Lori Fenton's Blog Author lfenton
A piece of Mars: Impact craters are typically round circles, so when you see one that isn't, it's usually because something has changed its shape into something less perfectly round. These craters are squooshed on the lower right side, as ripples migrating towards the upper left invaded their southeastern (lower right) rims. (HiRISE ESP_028367_2085) read more ❯

Valley in Mt. Sharp
Published 9/9/2012 in Lori Fenton's Blog Author lfenton
A piece of Gale crater, Mars: Here's a view of a small piece of Mt. Sharp, both from Curiosity (on the right) and from orbit (on the left, HiRISE ESP_028269_1755). A broad valley visible from the rover is revealed to be a natural staircase of layers, partly covered by dark sand. read more ❯

The dunes near Curiosity
Published 8/24/2012 in Lori Fenton's Blog Author lfenton
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 blowing from the north and one from the ENE. These are the winds that Curiosity will experience on its trek to Mt. Sharp. (HiRISE ESP_018854_1755) read more ❯

What is Mt. Sharp?
Published 8/19/2012 in Lori Fenton's Blog Author lfenton
A piece of Gale crater, Mars: What exactly is Mt. Sharp, the big mountain Curiosity is set to climb up? Here's a picture of what it is: layers and layers and layers and layers. And more layers. Probably sedimentary, but also possibly with some volcanic ash. Each layer tells its own story about some period in the distant past on Mars, and here are just a few of them, exposed by erosion for your viewing pleasure. (HiRISE PSP_008002_1750) read more ❯

Curiosity's Grand Canyon
Published 8/13/2012 in Lori Fenton's Blog Author lfenton
A piece of Gale crater, Mars (Aug. 13, 2012): Here is the wall of a large ravine cut into Mt. Sharp, the mountain of layered and eroded sediments that Curiosity will climb. Long ago, this ravine was cut by water, much as the Grand Canyon was, revealing the seemingly endless set of layers that built the mountain. (HiRISE PSP_006855_1750) read more ❯

In Curiosity's channel
Published 8/11/2012 in Lori Fenton's Blog Author lfenton
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 rocks and partially buried by bluish-gray sand and ripples. (HiRISE ESP_025935_1750) read more ❯

And the wind blew
Published 8/10/2012 in Lori Fenton's Blog Author lfenton
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. (HiRISE PSP_009861_1755) read more ❯

A beautiful tangle
Published 8/3/2012 in Lori Fenton's Blog Author lfenton
A piece of Mars: Compare this with my post five days ago and you might think the scenes are similar. In fact they're not. In the previous case sedimentary layers were carved out by the wind, leaving behind swirly patterns where resistant layers created relief. Here, the swirly patterns are inherent in the rock. These might be a rare example of sandstones on Mars, formed of ancient dunes (Google "Navajo sandstone" for examples on Earth). (HiRISE PSP_01620_1750). read more ❯

Double trouble
Published 7/30/2012 in Lori Fenton's Blog Author lfenton
A piece of Mars: Bright dunes once marched through the depression created by a double impact. How can you tell the dunes are no longer moving? Because one of them has its own little crater sitting on it. A mobile dune would quickly erase such a distinctive feature. (HiRISE ESP_027018_1925) read more ❯

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