February 19, 2011

From the "Days of Miracles and Wonders" File: Blue on Mars

"GOD is the photograph of everything at once."

With all the unremitting pettiness of the daily life of humans it's easy to forget how full of marvels all Creation is packed. Case in point:


This photograph shows part of the floor of Rabe Crater, a large impact crater in Mars' southern highlands.

For a high-def view CLICK HERE.

Dark dunes--accumulations of wind blown sand--cover part of crater's floor, and contrast with the surrounding bright-colored outcrops. The extreme close-up view reveals a thumbprint-like texture of smaller ridges and troughs covering the surfaces of the larger dunes. These smaller ripples are also formed and shaped by blowing wind in the thin atmosphere of Mars.

One puzzling question is why the dunes are dark compared with the relative bright layered material contained within the crater. The probable answer is that the source of the dark sand is not local to this crater; rather, this topographic depression has acted as a sand trap that has collected material being transported by winds blowing across the plains outside the crater. -- redOrbit

Posted by Vanderleun at February 19, 2011 8:55 PM
Bookmark and Share



"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

There are days when I yearn for eternity. Best to be careful of what I hope for when I hope for it.

Posted by: Jewel at February 19, 2011 9:41 PM

Perspective.. thanks, I needed this today especially.

Posted by: RedCarolina at February 20, 2011 8:42 AM

I can't imagine how high those cliffs on the right of the picture could be. They must make the Grand Canyon look like a drainage ditch.


Posted by: jwm at February 20, 2011 9:05 AM

err, on the left. I have a hard time telling one side from the other before my second cup of coffee.

JW (just slightly embarrassed) M

Posted by: jwm at February 20, 2011 9:08 AM