Dunes Flying in Formation
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Dunes Flying in Formation
ESP_034815_2035  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
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Migratory birds and military aircraft—like during World War II—often fly in a V-shaped formation. The “V” formation greatly boosts the efficiency and range of flying birds, because all except the first fly in the upward motion of air--called upwash--from the wingtip vortices of the bird ahead.

In this image of a dune field in a large crater near Mawrth Vallis, some of the dunes appear to be in formation. For dune fields, the spacing of individual dunes is a function of sand supply, wind speed, and topography.

Written by: Alfred McEwen (audio: Tre Gibbs)   (12 February 2014)

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Acquisition date
30 December 2013

Local Mars time:
15:03

Latitude (centered)
23.190°

Longitude (East)
339.585°

Range to target site
288.4 km (180.3 miles)

Original image scale range
28.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~87 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
4.9°

Phase angle:
46.5°

Solar incidence angle
42°, with the Sun about 48° above the horizon

Solar longitude
69.5°, Northern Spring

North azimuth:
97°

Sub-solar azimuth:
16.1°
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All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible:
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona



Postscript
For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.