NASA discovers blue dune on Mars

Avatar By Le Williams | 2 years ago

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has discovered a large dune with a more complex structure, displaying a different composition from other dunes on Lyot Crater.

Located in the Northern Hemisphere of Mars, NASA’s Mars orbiter captured dune images on January 24th, 2018, appearing turquoise blue in color.

According to the space agency, sand dunes are a common feature on the surface of Mars, emerging in various shapes and forms.

The Martian sand dunes develop anywhere from valleys to crater floors. Lyot Crater on Mars also contains many classic barchan dunes. The newly discovered dune is created when strong winds blow in one direction.

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched in 2005 and entered orbit around the Red Planet in March 2006. Since then, it has been returning high-resolution images and a wealth of data.

Currently, the orbiter is closely observing on a fierce dust storm on Mars. The storm was first detected on May 30, growing in size, and has officially become a “planet-encircling” dust event. The thickening haze from the dust storm has blocked sunlight over much of the Red Planet and prompted NASA’s Opportunity rover to halt science operations.