Enigmatic Canyon Dunes
Enigmatic Canyon Dunes
ESP_052737_1645  Science Theme: 
This image shows a cross-section of ancient canyon systems in east Coprates Chasma, and displays several orders and generations of wind-driven dunes and ripples, also called bedforms. Some areas display more modern bedforms, often termed mega-ripples, which have likely been active over long timescales and have migrated in the recent past.

Other areas along the canyon wall have larger bedforms that show a very different appearance. Although they have a spacing that would make them similar to typical Martian sand dunes, many display superposed craters, indicating they have not migrated for a very long time, possibly hundreds of thousands of years.

Written by: Matthew Chojnacki (narration: Tre Gibbs)  (14 October 2019)

This is a stereo pair with PSP_009143_1645.
Acquisition date
26 October 2017

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
260.5 km (161.9 miles)

Original image scale range
53.0 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~159 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
59°, with the Sun about 31° above the horizon

Solar longitude
79.3°, Northern Spring

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  96°
Sub-solar azimuth:  48.5°
Black and white
map projected  non-map

IRB color
map projected  non-map

Merged IRB
map projected

Merged RGB
map projected

RGB color
non-map projected

Black and white
map-projected   (216MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (130MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (82MB)
non-map           (78MB)

IRB color
map projected  (24MB)
non-map           (124MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (206MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (184MB)

RGB color
non map           (109MB)
Map-projected, reduced-resolution
Full resolution JP2 download
Anaglyph details page

B&W label
Color label
Merged IRB label
Merged RGB label
EDR products

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

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NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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.