A First Look at Dunes
A First Look at Dunes
ESP_057903_1390  Science Theme: Aeolian Processes
This image shows us a cross-section of a dune field. Dune shape depends on several factors, including the amount of sand present and the local wind directions. This dune field displays several distinct dune morphologies.

We see both individual barchan-like dunes and more complex dune shapes. The dunes are arranged in a linear fashion at the northern extent of the field, first in areas with lots of sand, and then with relatively sand-free patches in between dune crests. HiRISE has observed dune activity in other similar fields, but this is our first image over this group of dunes.

A second image is needed to determine if these dunes are also evolving and moving.

Written by: Nicole Baugh (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (22 January 2019)
Acquisition date
03 December 2018

Local Mars time

Latitude (centered)

Longitude (East)

Spacecraft altitude
255.8 km (159.0 miles)

Original image scale range
51.2 cm/pixel (with 2 x 2 binning) so objects ~154 cm across are resolved

Map projected scale
50 cm/pixel and North is up

Map projection

Emission angle

Phase angle

Solar incidence angle
35°, with the Sun about 55° above the horizon

Solar longitude
299.5°, Northern Winter

For non-map projected images
North azimuth:  97°
Sub-solar azimuth:  28.5°
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   (281MB)

IRB color
map-projected   (157MB)

Black and white
map-projected  (148MB)
non-map           (170MB)

IRB color
map projected  (72MB)
non-map           (178MB)

Merged IRB
map projected  (277MB)

Merged RGB
map-projected  (257MB)

RGB color
non map           (174MB)
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

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

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.