dunes

July 8, 2013

South polar dunes

A piece of Mars: The blue structures are rippled dunes found not far from the south polar cap of Mars. They are probably partially active, enough to create the fine ripples found on and between the dunes. But the steeper […]
May 21, 2013

New dust devils swirls

A piece of Mars: Swirly loops form on the martian surface as dust devils pass by, cleaning up dust on the surface and revealing the dark, rippled dune beneath. Every year the swirls get cleaned off and reform — such […]
April 16, 2013

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 […]
March 22, 2013

Dunes in the spring

A piece of Mars: Dunes near the north and south poles get cold in the winter, just like they do on Earth. Except on Mars instead of H2O ice, it’s a mix of CO2 and H2O ice (mostly CO2). In […]
March 19, 2013

Nili Patera

A piece of Mars: Nili Patera on Mars is an ancient volcano. Some of the old volcanic material has been blown into rather striking sand dunes. It is the first place where dunes were conclusively identified as actively moving. Here’s […]
March 3, 2013

Windswept landscape

A piece of Mars: As the wind blows sand over terrain, the grains deepen grooves in weak materials, enhancing the topography in the direction of the strongest wind. Here, over eons, sand marching from right to left has formed dunes […]
February 22, 2013

Those feathery bright dunes on Mars

A piece of Mars: Some of the dunes on Mars are just plain weird. Here are some feather-shaped ones. I’m not sure anybody knows why they form these fractal shapes just yet. I don’t know of anything on Earth that […]
February 19, 2013

Drifting sand

A piece of Mars: Dark sand has been blown into the scene from the upper right. It has piled up against older, brighter dunes that may now be inactive. The sand drifts on and on, piling up where the wind […]
February 10, 2013

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 […]