A new kind of sand dune on Mars

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Namib Dune, Gale Crater, Mars.

This view of the surface of a sand dune on Mars shows two different sizes of ripples created by wind. Sand dunes, like the small ripples seen here, are familiar sights on Earth. The bigger ripples are around 3 meters apart and have not been seen before, on Earth or on Mars. The larger ripples have distinctive sinuous crest lines.

The picture is a composite created from multiple images taken by the mast camera on NASA’s Curiosity rover on December 13 2015, or the rover’s 1192nd Martian day at work. The images were taken in the early morning on Namib Dune, in the Bagnold Dune Field, which forms a dark band along the northwestern side of Mount Sharp.

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