Thursday, December 16, 2010

Arabia Dunes

Sand dunes shaped like blue-black flames lie next to a central hill within an unnamed, 120-kilometer-wide (75-mile-wide) crater in eastern Arabia on Mars. False colors depict the nature of the ground surface: areas in bluish tints have more fine sand at the surface, while redder tints indicate harder sediments and outcrops of rock.

This scene combines images taken during the period from February 2003 to August 2004 by the Thermal Emission Imaging System instrument on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. It is part of a special set of images marking the occasion of Odyssey becoming the longest-working Mars spacecraft in history. The pictured location on Mars is 26.7 degrees north latitude, 63 degrees east longitude.

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Note: The location of this image is just north of Antoniadi Crater, which is actually north of Syrtis Major in Terra Sabaea, not Arabia Terra as mentioned in the text above.

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