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Sand Dunes Thawing on Mars

Discussion in 'Tech, Science, and Space' started by Robby, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Robby

    Robby The Robot

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Terra
    [​IMG]


    Sand Dunes Thawing on Mars
    Credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA

    Explanation: What are these strange shapes on Mars? Defrosting sand dunes. As spring now dawns on the Northern Hemisphere of Mars, dunes of sand near the pole, as pictured above, are beginning to thaw. The carbon dioxide and water ice actually sublime in the thin atmosphere directly to gas. Thinner regions of ice typically defrost first revealing sand whose darkness soaks in sunlight and accelerates the thaw. The process might even involve sandy jets exploding through the thinning ice. By summer, spots will expand to encompass the entire dunes. The Martian North Pole is ringed by many similar fields of barchan sand dunes, whose strange, smooth arcs are shaped by persistent Martian winds.




    (Via NASA)
     
  2. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    Exposing the city domes
     

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