Sand Dunes in Spring
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Sand Dunes in Spring
ESP_035033_2635  Science Theme: Seasonal Processes
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Mars’ northern-most sand dunes are beginning to emerge from their winter cover of seasonal carbon dioxide (dry) ice. Dark, bare south-facing slopes are soaking up the warmth of the sun.

The steep lee sides of the dunes are also ice-free along the crest, allowing sand to slide down the dune. Dark splotches are places where ice cracked earlier in spring, releasing sand. Soon the dunes will be completely bare and all signs of spring activity will be gone.

Written by: Candy Hansen (audio: Tre Gibbs)   (5 March 2014)



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Acquisition date:16 January 2014 Local Mars time: 1:29 PM
Latitude (centered):83.480° Longitude (East):118.570°
Range to target site:320.8 km (200.5 miles)Original image scale range:64.2 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~193 cm across are resolved
Map projected scale:50 cm/pixelMap projection:Polarstereographic
Emission angle:2.4° Phase angle:61.4°
Solar incidence angle:60°, with the Sun about 30° above the horizon Solar longitude:76.9°, Northern Spring
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North azimuth:116° Sub-solar azimuth:319.5°
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North azimuth:151.4°Sub solar azimuth:355.1°

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For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: http://www.nasa.gov. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona. The image data were processed using the U.S. Geological Survey’s ISIS3 software.