NASA Shares Image Of Stunning ‘Blue Dune’ On Mars

Posted: Jun 24 2018, 12:19pm CDT | by , Updated: Jun 24 2018, 12:32pm CDT, in Latest Science News


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NASA Shares Image of Stunning ‘Blue Dune’ on Mars
Credit: NASA

The dune is located in the region of Lyot Crater and has a complex structure.

Sand dunes are a common feature on the surface of Mars. They come in many shapes and forms and can develop anywhere from valleys to crater floors. Lyot Crater on Mars also contains many classic barchan dunes. This type of dunes is created when strong winds blow in one direction.

In the south of this group of barchan dunes, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has found a large dune with a more complex structure. Its composition is also different from other dunes on Lyot Crater which is located in the Northern Hemisphere of Mars.

NASA’s Mars orbiter captured this particular dune on Jan. 24, 2018. The dune looks turquoise blue in the image.

Its color has been enhanced to bring out the difference in the composition of the surface.

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched in 2005 and entered orbit around the Red Planet in March 2006. Since then, it has been returning high-resolution images and a wealth of data. Currently, the orbiter is keeping a close eye on a fierce dust storm on Mars. The storm was first detected on May 30. It has grown in size and has officially become a “planet-encircling” dust event. The thickening haze from the dust storm has blocked sunlight over much of the Red Planet and prompted NASA's Opportunity rover to suspend science operations.

The recent dust storm is comparable in size to a storm observed by Viking I spacecraft in 1977. In 2007, a much larger storm almost totally covered the planet. The current dust storm is more diffuse and patchy but it is not showing any signs of clearing.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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