THEMIS: Dunes changing from little to big

Dunes transition line in Russell Crater (THEMIS_IOTD_20170808)THEMIS Image of the Day, August 8, 2017. This image shows part of the dune field just south of the large sand ridge – which is visible on the very top of the image. There is a huge range of dune sizes on the floor of Russell Crater. In this image the small sizes are at the bottom of the image and transition to larger dunes at the top.

Russell Crater is located in Noachis Terra. A spectacular dune ridge and other dune forms on the crater floor have caused extensive imaging by scientists as they seek to understand these dunes.

NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft has spent over 15 years in orbit around Mars, circling the planet more than 69,000 times. It holds the record for longest working spacecraft at Mars. THEMIS, the IR/VIS camera system, has collected data for the entire mission and provides images covering all seasons and lighting conditions.

Over the years many features of interest have received repeated imaging, building up a suite of images covering the entire feature. From the deepest chasma to the tallest volcano, individual dunes inside craters and dune fields that encircle the north pole, channels carved by water and lava, and a variety of other feature, THEMIS has imaged them all.

For the next several months the Image of the Day will focus on the Tharsis volcanoes, the various chasmata of Valles Marineris, and the major dunes fields. We hope you enjoy these images!

More THEMIS Images of the Day by geological topic.

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