Monday, February 17, 2014

Mars MRO HiRise Image: Sand dune formation Mawrth Vallis

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) flying above the red planet spotted these dunes with its HiRise camera

This is an intriguing formation of sand dunes in a crater near Mawrth Vallis. 

The “V” formation greatly boosts the efficiency and range of flying birds, because all except the first fly in the upward motion of air--called upwash--from the wingtip vortices of the bird ahead. 

For dune fields, the spacing of individual dunes arises as a function of sand supply, wind speed, and topography. 

Trekkies may notice a resemblance to the shape of classic Star Trek uniform insignias. 

Image released Feb. 13, 2014.

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