Dome and Barchan Dunes in Newton Crater
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Dome and Barchan Dunes in Newton Crater
ESP_038117_1385  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
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This observation shows a small sand dune field on the floor of Newton Crater, an approximately 300 kilometer (130 mile) wide crater in the Southern hemisphere of Mars.

The image shows both dome and barchan dunes. Both these types of dunes are also found on Earth. Barchan dunes in particular are common on Earth, and are generally crescent-shaped with a steep slip face bordered by horns oriented in the downwind direction. Barchan dunes form by unidirectional winds and are good indicators of the dominant wind direction.

In this case, the horns of the barchan dunes are not very distinct but appear to indicate that the strongest winds blew approximately southeast to northwest. Note the pattern the dunes form around a bright streak in the downwind direction behind a crater in the center of the image.

Written by: Maria Banks (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (1 October 2014)
 
Acquisition date
13 September 2014

Local Mars time
15:56

Latitude (centered)
-41.153°

Longitude (East)
202.746°

Spacecraft altitude
253.5 km (157.5 miles)

Original image scale range
25.4 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~76 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle
1.0°

Phase angle
62.0°

Solar incidence angle
63°, with the Sun about 27° above the horizon

Solar longitude
195.5°, Northern Autumn

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  22.2°
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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
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.