This fascinating picture from the HiRISE digital camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveals a area of fascinating dunes referred to as barchan dunes.
These dunes have fashioned alongside a cliff in Chasma Boreale, within the North Pole of Mars.
The Excessive-Decision Imaging Experiment, or HiRISE, is a robust digital camera that takes footage that see options as small as a desk from orbit.
The picture right here reveals an space lower than 1 kilometer (beneath a mile) throughout and MRO was about 197 kilometers above the floor when the picture was taken.
HiRISE scientists say that barchan dunes are widespread on each Earth and Mars.
Often, these dunes are very distinctive in form and are necessary as a result of they will inform scientists in regards to the setting during which they fashioned and the route of the winds at a specific location.
Barchans type in sandy areas the place winds blow in a single dominant route. This creates a crescent-shaped sand dune. The arcs of sand that outline the barchan dunes finish in ‘horns’ that time downwind, whereas sand is blown into crests and slopes.
Many instances, this kinds a form that, from above, seems to be just like the Star Trek insignia.
The winds on the Martian North Pole should swirl in numerous instructions as a result of the dunes proven above aren’t formed within the basic crescent, chevron form.
The picture was taken utilizing the red-green-blue filter on the digital camera, giving the sand a blue look.
The HiRISE digital camera operates in seen wavelengths, the identical as human eyes, however with a telescopic lens that makes it one of many highest decision cameras presently in area.
These high-resolution pictures allow scientists to tell apart 1-meter-size (about 3-foot-size) objects on Mars and to review the floor construction in a way more complete method than every other Mars mission.
HiRISE additionally makes observations at near-infrared wavelengths to acquire info on the minerals current.
MRO has been in Mars orbit since 2006, and the longevity of the mission means planetary scientists can observe modifications over time.
The purpose for taking the lead picture is for the staff to trace for seasonal modifications on this area over time.