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NASA Released Image of Frosted Dunes on Mars

Jun 09, 2016 08:28 AM EDT
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The HiRise camera attached to NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter managed to take a photo of frozen dunes on the surface of Mars.
(Photo : Space Imaging via Getty Images)

NASA is planning to finally reach Mars in 2030. Space agencies and private companies are also working side by side to create potential habitats and space transport - all for the purpose of exploring the red planet.

According to existing data, Mars has potentially catered to life forms before thus the interest of NASA and the space industry in general, to reach the planet. In line with the preparation, tons of data are being collected to understand the planet better, one of which is an image of frozen dunes on its surface.

 

 

In the photo released by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the frozen dunes appear to cover a terrain on the surface of Mars. There were boulders on the flat areas in between the dunes.

The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRise) camera, installed on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, was used to take the photo. To arrive at the current resolution, which looks like a "frosting on a cake," the image was enhanced using coloring techniques to highlight the frozen dunes, according to a report by RT.

Today, Mars is experiencing late winter. It was reported earlier this year that the Mars Curiosity Rover, which is currently exploring the surface of the planet, is also responsible for understanding the weather on Mars.  

From the data sent by the rover, scientists at NASA were able to establish that the temperature on the planet changes along with the climate much like the seasons on Earth. This might be an explanation why frozen dunes appear on the surface of Mars.

"The similar tilts of Earth and Mars give both planets a yearly rhythm of seasons. But some differences are great, such as in comparisons between day and night temperatures" said Ashwin Vasavada of NASA, in a press release.

And surprisingly, the discovered frozen dunes also changes with the Martian weather. "Spots form where pressurized carbon dioxide gas escapes to the surface," said Alfred McEwen of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a statement.

The weather on Mars, which was established to follow almost the same pattern to that of the Earth, gives scientists a study model so they can arrive at findings based on the similarity of the Earth and Martian climate.

 

 

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