Frosty Northern Dunes
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Frosty Northern Dunes
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It is early spring in the Northern hemisphere of Mars. These barchan dunes are covered with a layer of seasonal carbon dioxide ice (dry ice). Bluish cracks in the ice are visible across the top of some of the dunes.

Dark fan-shaped deposits around the edges of the dunes are at spots where the ice has sublimated (gone directly from ice to gas) and the ice layer has ruptured, allowing the sand from the dune to escape out from under the ice. The sand is then free to be blown by the wind.

Written by: Candy Hansen   (7 December 2011)

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Acquisition date:30 September 2011 Local Mars time: 1:44 PM
Latitude (centered):73.319° Longitude (East):355.126°
Range to target site:317.5 km (198.4 miles)Original image scale range:31.8 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~95 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:25 cm/pixelMap projection:Polarstereographic
Emission angle:1.8° Phase angle:72.9°
Solar incidence angle:72°, with the Sun about 18° above the horizon Solar longitude:8.2°, Northern Spring
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