Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Streaks along a crater rim on Mars take on a wavy and ghostly appearance in this image form NASA’s HiRISE camera.
What stories does your imagination create with the shapes and patterns found in this image? leave a note below.
Explore the crater and surrounding plains. Unlike the light-colored sand abundant on the beaches of Earth, Martian sand is dark and made up mostly of a dark mineral called basalt. On Mars, lightly colored windblown dust covers most of surface. But when the surface is disturbed by dust devils or landslides, the dark sand is exposed leaving striking patterns.
As you move away from what scientists call slope streaks, look for the channel cut into the crater wall and floor. At one time in Mars‘ distant past, lava surrounded the crater, found a low part in the rim and channeled its way to the bottom. This must have happened on an early Mars. Look for fresh and eroded craters in the plains above the crater.
Launched with Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, or MRO, in 2005, HiRISE is one of six instruments aboard the spacecraft orbiting Mars. HiRISEs camera can see objects on the surface as small as a beach ball. The instrument can also offer scientists stereo views of the surface.