Dunes trapped in a crater on Mars make up this attention-grabbing sample

Symmetry in nature is pleasing to look at, and even more so when that symmetry is new. There is a lot to see on earth as biological processes have a penchant for patterns. But finding it out of the world is more difficult and sometimes more noticeable. This is why a HiRISE picture of some Martian dunes is so spectacular.

The picture was actually taken in 2010 in a crater in Noachis Terra in the southern hemisphere of the red planet with a latitude / longitude of 38 by -42.5 degrees. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE he is traveling in was about 252 km above the surface of the planet when it captured the image, which covers an area of ​​about 25 square kilometers.

Reduced view of the dunes with their size compared to the rest of the surface.
Photo credit: NASA / JPL / University of Arizona

Even at this relatively large size, the image resolves objects that are less than a meter tall. However, the most striking feature of the images is the similarity between the dunes, which are actually the thin dark lines. The area between them, the slightly lighter reddish material, is covered with boulders that appear as points in the picture.

Mars and Earth aren’t the only worlds in the solar system with these fascinating types of dunes. In fact, Titan has the largest linear dune field in the solar system. We might get a high-resolution look at these when Dragonfly visits Saturn’s largest moon in 2034.

Learn more:
UA – dune symmetry
Flicker – dune symmetry

Mission statement:
Symmetrical dunes on Mars.
Photo credit: NASA / JPL / University of Arizona

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