NASA has released “The first close look at active sand dunes anywhere other than Earth.”
As the Curiosity Mars rover continues its slow climb up Mt. Sharp, it paused to capture this stunning panoramic view of the Bagnold Dunes—a band of dark sand lining the northwestern flank of the mountain.
Windblown sand builds up on the slope until it becomes steepened and flows in mini-avalanches down the face. The dune pictured here is about 16 feet (5 meters) tall.
The rover will spend at least several weeks at the site, to “increase understanding about how wind moves and sorts grains of sand, in an environment with less gravity and much less atmosphere than well-studied dune fields on Earth,” says NASA.
Satellite images have revealed that the dunes move as much as three feet (1 meter) every (Earth) year … read more —> http://news.nationalgeographic.com/