The Active Dunes of Nili Patera
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
The Active Dunes of Nili Patera
ESP_035603_1890  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
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Nili Patera is one of the most active dune fields on Mars. As such, it is continuously monitored with HiRISE, 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 (1 March 2014). Compared to an image acquired on 22 November 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.

Written by: Nathan Bridges (audio: Tre Gibbs)   (30 April 2014)

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Acquisition date
01 March 2014

Local Mars time:
15:16

Latitude (centered)
8.725°

Longitude (East)
67.346°

Range to target site
275.6 km (172.3 miles)

Original image scale range
27.6 cm/pixel (with 1 x 1 binning) so objects ~83 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
25 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection
Equirectangular

Emission angle:
9.9°

Phase angle:
57.8°

Solar incidence angle
49°, with the Sun about 41° above the horizon

Solar longitude
96.5°, Northern Summer

North azimuth:
97°

Sub-solar azimuth:
32.2°
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All of the images produced by HiRISE and accessible on this site are within the public domain: there are no restrictions on their usage by anyone in the public, including news or science organizations. We do ask for a credit line where possible:
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona



Postscript
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.