(ORDO NEWS) — This image, taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) HiRISE camera, captures a field of Martian dunes. These dunes formed along the rocks of the North Canyon, located at the north pole of Mars.
The High-Resolution Imaging Experiment (HIRISE) is a powerful camera that captures images from orbit showing objects the size of a desk.
HiRISE scientists say that dunes are common not only on Earth, but also on Mars. Dunes can tell about the environment in which they formed and the direction of the winds in a particular location.
Barchans form in sandy areas where the winds blow in one dominant direction. They create a crescent-shaped sand dune.
The sand arcs of the dune end in “horns” on the leeward side, while the sand is blown into the ridges and slopes.
The winds at the North Pole of Mars must be blowing in different directions because the dunes shown above do not have the classic crescent shape.
The image was made using an RGB filter to give the sand a blue look.
The HiRISE camera operates in the visible wavelength range, just like the human eye, but with a telescopic lens.
High-resolution images allow scientists to distinguish 1-meter-sized objects on Mars and study surface texture more closely.
HiRISE also conducts near-infrared observations to provide information about the minerals present on Mars.
MRO has been in orbit around Mars since 2006. Mission duration allows planetary scientists to track changes over time. The purpose of this image is to enable the team to track seasonal changes in the region.
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