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NASA Observers See Shifting Sand Dunes on Mars

NASA Mars Exploration Rover Spirit platform_20120215094332_JPG

Vast fields of shifting sand dunes on Mars may be just as dynamic as the ones on Earth, according to NASA’s analysis of high-resolution spacecraft images.

Scientists long debated whether the Red Planet’s dunes were currently active, and many believed the sand hills to be stagnant features because Mars has a much thinner atmosphere than Earth and weaker winds.

But using NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), astronomers observed that movement in the Red Planet’s dunes occurs on a surprisingly large scale, with entire 200-feet-thick dunes moving across the Martian landscape, some at the same pace as dunes in the ice-free valleys of Antarctica.  Read More

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Posted on May 9, 2012, in #breaking news, #social media, #technology and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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