Martian Dunes

Martian Dunes
Martian Dunes Mars Global Surveyor has finally begun its mission to map the surface of Mars in unprecedented detail. Equipment problems delayed the mapping mission for many months, as the spacecraft settled into a near-circular orbit. But by March 1999 the spacecraft was returning spectacular images. Here we see a field of dark sand dunes in the Nili Patera region of Syrtis Major, a dark triangular area that has been observed from Earth for many decades. In this image, the spacecraft has resolved details as small as 3 meters across. The shapes of the dunes indicate that dark sand has been steadily blowing from upper right to lower left by the Martian wind. The area shown is 2.1 kilometers (1.3 miles) across. MSSS/NASA

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