Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reptilian Dunes

Although this may look like a hostile alien life form, it's actually a complex line of sand dunes near the northern ice cap of Mars. The image covers an area about 10 kilometers (6 miles) wide. It was taken in April 2006 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 82.4 degrees north latitude, 314.5 degrees east longitude.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

Note: For more information, see Odyssey Orbiter Nears Martian Longevity Record. The location of these dunes is in Vastitas Borealis, just east of the entrance to Chasma Boreale.

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