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Telltale Ripples

This false-color image from the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's panoramic camera shows peak-like formations on the martian terrain at Gusev Crater. Scientists have been analyzing these formations, which have coarse particles accumulating on their tops, or crests. This characteristic classifies them as ripples instead of dunes, which have a more uniform distribution of particle sizes. Scientists are looking further into such formations, which can give insight to the wind direction and velocity on Mars, as well as the material that is being moved by the wind. This image was taken on the 40th martian day, or sol, of Spirit's mission.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

Posted by at February 29, 2004 8:45 PM

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