Dunes in Herschel Crater
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Dunes in Herschel Crater
PSP_002728_1645  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
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This image shows dunes on the floor of Herschel Crater. The steep faces ("slipfaces") are oriented downwind, in the direction of motion of the dunes. One feature of particular interest is the dune-free area downwind of the crater at the image center. Some sand has been trapped in the crater, but the crater prevents the dunes from migrating directly downwind.

Sand dunes form naturally as a result of the transport of sand by the wind. The dunes in this image are somewhat crescent-shaped, but are being extended and distorted downwind and merging with nearby dunes; this complex behavior is common in dune fields on Earth.

In the southern part of the image the sand lies in sheets rather than well-defined dunes. At high resolution, the dune surfaces are covered in small ripples and scallops, also shaped by the wind.

Written by: Colin Dundas   (6 October 2010)

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Acquisition date
25 February 2007

Local Mars time:
15:45

Latitude (centered)
-15.107°

Longitude (East)
131.897°

Range to target site
258.6 km (161.6 miles)

Original image scale range
25.9 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~78 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
0.2°

Phase angle:
56.5°

Solar incidence angle
56°, with the Sun about 34° above the horizon

Solar longitude
189.9°, Northern Autumn

North azimuth:
97°

Sub-solar azimuth:
10.4°
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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.