NASA image: Active dune field on Mars

May 05, 2014
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Nili Patera is one of the most active dune fields on Mars. As such, it is continuously monitored with the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera, a science instrument aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, with a new image acquired about every six weeks.

By monitoring the sand dune changes, we can determine how winds vary seasonally and year-to-year. This observation is one of the more recent Nili images, acquired on March 1, 2014. Compared to an image acquired on Nov. 22, 2012, changes are obvious. The ripples on the dunes have moved, as well some of the dune boundaries, such as the one at upper left. New landslides on the central dune's lee face are apparent.

Such changes, in just 16 months (and finer scale changes have been seen in just a couple of weeks), demonstrate the effectiveness of wind in modifying the Martian landscape.

HiRISE is one of six instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates the orbiter's HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

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User comments : 4

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FineStructureConstant
1 / 5 (2) May 05, 2014
By monitoring the sand dune changes, we can determine how winds vary seasonally and year-to-year
. We??? who is/are WE?? - surely you mean: "By monitoring the sand dune changes, the seasonal and yearly changes in the winds may be determined."

This observation (errrm, which one? Where?) is one of the more recent Nili images
- you surely mean: "The image reproduced above is one of the more recent of the images obtained of the Nili Patera region."

it is continuously monitored with the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera, a science instrument aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, with a new image acquired about every six weeks./
- continuously? - every six weeks?? Surely you mean REGULARLY, not CONTINUOUSLY.

This sort of sloppy reporting does no credit at all to phys.org and crops up far too regularly, IMHO. Sack your copy-writers and hire me - I spikka di English, don't you know...
dramamoose
1 / 5 (1) May 05, 2014
This article was provided directly by NASA; read the bottom. Don't crucify Phys because a bunch of brilliant engineers write awkwardly.
HTK
not rated yet May 05, 2014
LOL
HTK
not rated yet May 05, 2014
LOL

This observation (errrm, which one? Where?) is one of the more recent Nili images
- you surely mean: "The image reproduced above is one of the more recent of the images obtained of the Nili Patera region."