Mars: Sands Dunes Shift with Time

NASA probes surveying Mars have noticed something very interesting – the sand dunes they’ve photographed have been changing the longer they’ve been monitoring.

Here’s a picture of what’s happening:

mars sand dunes]

From the BBC:

Vast sand dunes near the northern pole of Mars are not frozen relics of a distant past, but shift and change every Martian year, data have shown.

A hi-tech camera aboard Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has spotted UK-sized dune fields that are among the most dynamic on the Red Planet.

Causes, says a report in Science, include carbon dioxide gas that freezes solid onto the dunes each winter.

As it thaws in spring, the gas released destabilises, causing sand avalanches.


Very cool!

Speak Your Mind