Tag Archives: polar

Varying wind directions

A Piece of Mars: This 0.5x0.4 km (0.31x0.25 mi) scene shows two dunes near the north pole. The shape of the dunes indicates two main winds: one blowing left to right (which makes slip faces on the right side, one ...

Dunes with comet tails

A Piece of Mars: The north polar dunes in this 575x325 m (0.36x0.2 mi) scene are made of dark sand covered by bright winter frost (which will soon sublimate away, as this image was taken in late spring). To the ...

Dunes in a row

A Piece of Mars: Look at the alignment of the ~100 m dunes in this 713x750 m (0.44x0.47 mi) scene. How do dunes form in such straight lines? And why don't they always do that? It's likely that these dunes ...

Mars’ giant bubble wrap

A Piece of Mars: This 0.7x0.5 km (0.43x.31 mi) scene shows Mars' giant yellow bubble wrap, with each "bubble" about 100 m across (seriously, don't you want to pop them?). These are actually a type of dune called a "dome ...

Dunes fighting for survival

A Piece of Mars: Having a bad day? You're in good company with these dunes in this 0.96x0.48 km (0.6x0.3 mi) scene. The gray barchanoid dunes are covered in ripples, as the wind valiantly tries to push the sand to ...

Where on Mars is this dune?

A Piece of Mars: This 0.48x0.27 km (0.3x0.17 mi) scene shows a rotund barchan dune. Can you tell from looking at it where on Mars it might be? To me the most obvious feature are the bumpy piles at the ...

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 ...

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 ...

Dune trails

A Piece of Mars: The dark dunes in this 0.96x0.54 km (0.60x0.34 mi) scene are slowly migrating towards the lower left. Look closer and you'll see brighter ripples between the dunes - the biggest ones are ~8m (26 ft) apart. ...