dunes

March 9, 2015

<<<<<<<<

A piece of Mars: Ripples form endless chevrons in this 600×450 m (0.37×0.30 mi) scene. It’s really the crest of a dune that connects all the vertices in the chevrons, making that straight line that runs nearly vertical through the […]
February 17, 2015

The bright barchan

A piece of Mars: Most dunes on Mars are dark, like these and these. So why is this one bright? It’s adjacent to a more typical, dark dune. It’s possible that there are two populations of sand here that are […]
February 9, 2015

Sometimes I just have no idea

A piece of Mars: The smooth areas are eroded dunes, separated by fields of boulders (the scene is 1.51×1.14 km or 0.93×0.71 mi). The largest boulder near the center is 7.5 m (25 ft) across, the size of a small […]
January 5, 2015

The long, low dune

A piece of Mars: A long, low dune covered in long, linear ripples stretches across the scene (600×450 m; 1969×1476 ft). Dark gray areas on the dune show where sand has most recently moved. A small slip face has formed […]
December 8, 2014

Aeolian shoreline

A piece of Mars: On the left is a steep slope leading to a hill. On the right are waves – but not waves of water or any other kind of liquid. These are dunes or very large ripples, blown […]
September 30, 2014

Lumpy bumpy dunes

A piece of Mars: These funny shaped dunes were formed by winds blowing from two directions – one from the top of the frame and one from the upper right. Both winds make steep slopes (slip faces) on the downwind […]
August 5, 2014

What on Mars?

A piece of Mars: What on Mars is this (the scene is 600×450 m, or 0.37×0.28 mi)? It can be hard to tell. The lines are ridges of windblown dunes or ripples, the dark gray stuff is active sand blowing […]
June 13, 2014

Whither the wind

A piece of Mars: Which way did the wind blow here? You can tell by looking at the dune and its ripples. The slip face (the avalanching slope of the dune) faces downwind, so the strongest wind here mainly blows […]
March 31, 2014

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 in  bright CO2 frost, […]