13 Amazing Pictures of Dunes from Space

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Image: NASA

Sand dunes are stunning examples of nature’s artistry, and they aren’t just found on Earth. This stunning set of images shows they can be found on other planets too — specifically Mars. You can see how the winds that whip across the surface of the Red Planet have sculpted a huge variety of sizes and shapes, just as winds do the same on our own planet. The dunes seen here in Noachis Terra (the name literally means “Noah’s Land”) are a perfect example of this.


Image: NASA

Just as with some dunes here on Earth, the wind moves the dunes on the floor of the Herschel crater downwind until their shape gets elongated to the point of merging with dunes beside them. To put the icing on this geological cake, nature decorates the tops of these dunes with delicate ripples and scallop shapes.

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Image: NASA

A vast vertical rock face divides the area between the layered northern polar deposits and the more southerly lands where the dunes reside. You can see their ripple effect at the bottom of the image, where they’re covered in frozen carbon dioxide even though it’s the Martian spring.

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