The Dark Dunes of Mars

Proctor Crater Dune Field on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

I just got lost on Mars. I saw this intriguing image, above, on the HiRISE camera website, and ended up spending a large chunk of my morning just wandering through the dunes of Mars — actually wandering through images of dunes on Mars. These striking features have to be one of the most intriguing areas of study on the Red Planet since they are one of the most dynamic geologic processes going on currently on Mars.

The dark dunes are composed of basaltic sand, and scientists believe the dunes in the image above have formed in response to fall and winter westerly winds. Also superimposed on their surface are smaller secondary dunes that are commonly seen on terrestrial dunes of this size.

See below for more intriguing dunes on Mars that I came across in my wanderings…

(…) Read the rest of The Dark Dunes of Mars (128 words)

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(C) nancy for Universe Today, 2010. | Permalink | 7 comments | Add to Post

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