Winter View of Dunes
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Winter View of Dunes
PSP_001558_1325  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
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Dunes within a crater on Mars are visible in this image. This crater is located in the Southern hemisphere where it was winter at the time this image was taken.

This observation documents new seasonal processes occurring on dunes at this latitude, as well as other interesting phenomena. The bright tones are interpreted as carbon dioxide or water frost. This is generally concentrated on the east-facing slopes of the dunes, which are in shadow and therefore cooler. Some dark spots on the dunes may be areas that have defrosted more than surrounding terrain.

Landslides and dark-toned streaks are seen on many of the west-facing dune slopes. The general dune morphology indicates formation by westerly winds. However, zooming in on the image shows smaller scale ripples that appear to have been formed by winds blowing from the south and north.

Written by: Nathan Bridges & Kelly Kolb   (25 November 2009)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_002033_1325.

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Acquisition date:25 November 2006 Local Mars time: 3:44 PM
Latitude (centered):-47.218° Longitude (East):33.861°
Range to target site:249.2 km (155.8 miles)Original image scale range:49.9 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~150 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:50 cm/pixel and North is upMap projection:Equirectangular
Emission angle:0.3° Phase angle:80.5°
Solar incidence angle:80°, with the Sun about 10° above the horizon Solar longitude:140.9°, Northern Summer
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North azimuth:97° Sub-solar azimuth:42.3°
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North azimuth:270°Sub solar azimuth:214.7°

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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.