Mars Art: Something Old, Something New

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I love this image. It is a view from the Mars Orbital Camera (MOC) showing layered rocks and dunes in the bottom of an unnamed crater in Arabia Terra, Mars. The rocks are extremely ancient sediments, laid down billions of years ago when the planet was young. One of the most impressive things to me is how nice and regular the layers are. The black dunes and the granule ripples that seem to radiate from the layered mesas are much younger. They are deposited and moved by the wind. Even still, on Mars everything happens slower and “young” is a relative term. Maybe these dunes are only millions of years old!

You can read more about this image at the MOC website, and I encourage you to check out their gallery of awesome images of layers on Mars.

For more Mars Art, check out my past entries!

Explore posts in the same categories: Geology, Mars Art, MOC, Pictures, Sand Dunes

2 Comments on “Mars Art: Something Old, Something New”

  1. H.Bos Says:

    Some wind indeed, depositing nice and neat and regular!
    Water is abundant in the universe, meteorites are made of the stuff, yet it all managed to avoid Mars for the sake of some.
    During millions of years miracle straight winds gently deposited dry dust that then cemented miraculously to become rock.
    Was it perhaps God who spread these layers so neatly much more recently?
    regards Hemo

  2. Ryan Says:

    No miracles necessary to explain this picture. Low-level winds can easily get funneled by topography. As they blow around the mesas in this picture, they form ripples of sand perpendicular to the wind direction.

    As for water, Mars definitely had water! It’s just all gone now. We’re still trying to figure out where it went and why.


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