Spectacular Martian dunes snapped by Mars satellite

The Martian wilderness teems with geologic surprise.

Aboard NASA’s far away satellite tv for pc, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, an impressive digital camera not too long ago captured an excellent symbol of sand dunes inside of a Martian crater. NASA took the picture from 160 miles above the purple wilderness, within the Tyrrhena Terra area on Mars, situated within the planet’s southern hemisphere.

These are a curious form of dune, dubbed “star dunes.” They’re incessantly shaped inside of craters when wind blows from other instructions, in the long run making a patterned panorama of intersecting, polygonal, star-like formations.

NASA scientists were not searching for those dunes, however “fortuitously” got here throughout them whilst sleuthing for historic clays within the crater. The digital camera that captured the picture is named the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE.

“An amazing aspect of Mars that is captured in many HiRISE images is geologic diversity within a small area,” NASA tweeted from its HiRISE account.

sand dunes on Mars

Star dunes in a crater on Mars. This dune area is over a mile huge.
Credit: NASA / JPL / University of Arizona

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, introduced in 2006, has captured brilliant photographs of Mars’ craters, valleys, dried-up rivers, and past, for 16 years. Up in area — and clear of intense Martian mud storms — the satellite tv for pc has outlasted all of the Mars rovers.

And it does not simply seize the wildlife. Recently, the satellite tv for pc imaged China’s Zhurong rover rumbling around the Martian wilderness.

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