Arkhangelsky Crater Dunes
Arkhangelsky Crater Dunes
ESP_019559_1390  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
This observation shows dunes on the floor of the large, degraded Arkhangelsky Crater in the Southern Hemisphere of Mars.

Most of the dunes visible in this observation are barchan dunes. On barchan dunes, the steep slip face is between two “horns” that point downwind. In this case the dunes tell us that the wind direction is approximately from south-southeast to north-northwest.

Dust devils that pass through this area strip dust off of the ground, leaving tracks. In this observation, the dust devil tracks are clearly visible on the dunes, but are much less obvious on the rocky crater floor. When the thin coating of bright dust that covers the dunes is removed from the relatively dark dunes by dust devils, there is a clear contrast between the newly clean dune surface and the rest of the dune.

Although it is difficult to see the dust devil tracks on the crater floor, if you look closely, you can actually follow tracks from a dune to the crater floor and even back onto another dune.

Written by: Anjani Polit  (1 November 2010)
Acquisition date
28 September 2010

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
254.6 km (158.2 miles)

Original image scale range
50.9 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~153 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
73°, with the Sun about 17° above the horizon

Solar longitude
155.5°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  37.2°
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Merged IRB
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IRB color
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Black and white
map-projected  (109MB)
non-map           (188MB)

IRB color
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non-map           (166MB)

Merged IRB
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Merged RGB
map-projected  (267MB)

RGB color
non map           (151MB)
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
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RGB: red-green-blue
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

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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. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.