Quantcast
Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 11:24 EDT
Sand Dunes in the Spring
670 of 3809

Sand Dunes in the Spring

March 5, 2012
In the winter, Martian dunes north of 70 degrees latitude are covered by a seasonal layer of carbon dioxide ice (dry ice). In the spring as the ice sublimates (goes directly from solid to gas) numerous seasonal phenomena are observed.

Mars' sand dunes are dark, but appear pinkish because they are still covered by ice. Where the ice has cracked, dark sand is visible. On the steep sides of the dunes sand slides down in thin rivulets.

Dark splotches along the crest of the dunes may be sites where gas was released in pops, similar to champagne, carrying sand out in multiple directions.

Written by: Candy Hansen

Credits: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona