Dunes in Northern Summer
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Dunes in Northern Summer
PSP_009840_2745  Science Theme: Polar Geology


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This dune field formed near the base of the North Polar cap. Dunes require a source of loose particulate material to form. The source of the northern dune fields around the polar cap may be from the layers of dusty ice that are eroded by strong polar winds.

This image was taken during the Martian northern summer, so there is no frost present on the dunes. The dunes closest to the base of the polar cap are long and parallel, indicating strong winds from the direction of the cap. As they get farther away from the polar cap, they start to form more crescent shaped dunes, called barchan dunes.

Repeated observations by HiRISE of dunes like these show measurable changes in some locations. This discovery adds to the growing evidence that there are active processes happening all over the surface of Mars today.

Written by: Sarah Sutton  (31 January 2017)
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Acquisition date
01 September 2008

Local Mars time:
05:31

Latitude (centered)
85.458°

Longitude (East)
193.225°

Range to target site
318.7 km (199.2 miles)

Original image scale range
63.8 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~191 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel

Map projection
Polarstereographic

Emission angle:
3.9°

Phase angle:
66.1°

Solar incidence angle
69°, with the Sun about 21° above the horizon

Solar longitude
120.8°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  240°
Sub-solar azimuth:  320.0°
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map-projected  (390MB)
non-map           (301MB)

IRB color
map projected  (135MB)
non-map           (287MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (681MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (612MB)

RGB color
non map           (247MB)
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products
HiView

NB
IRB: infrared-red-blue
RGB: red-green-blue
About color products (PDF)

Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
For scale, use JPEG/JP2 black & white map-projected images

USAGE POLICY
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
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. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation and is operated by the University of Arizona.