The Dune Sea of Ganges Chasma
The Dune Sea of Ganges Chasma
ESP_044258_1715  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
This image is at the eastern edge of a very large deposit of wind-blown dust that occupies Ganges Chasma.

This thick deposit surrounds hills and mesas that rise up through it. We can tell from the patterns that the wind here is primarily blowing from east to west. There is a large cone-shaped hill whose eastern toe is surrounded by a dune crest, but its western toe—and a lane that stretches off the image frame--is clear of this dust deposit.

High-standing features like this might cause the wind to flow around it in such a way as to leave a cleared area that is similar to a wake behind a boat.

Written by: Ross Beyer (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (9 March 2016)
Acquisition date
05 January 2016

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
266.1 km (165.4 miles)

Original image scale range
53.3 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~160 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
57°, with the Sun about 33° above the horizon

Solar longitude
90.9°, Northern Summer

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  44.3°
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Black & white is 5 km across; enhanced color about 1 km
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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.