Follow this link to skip to the main content National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
NASA Banner
NASA Mars Exploration Program
Mars Exploration Program
Home
MULTIMEDIA

Images


read the article 'Ribbon Cutting'
09.19.2016 Ribbon Cutting
read the article 'Erisa Hines'
03.30.2016 Erisa Hines
read the article 'Buzz Aldrin'
03.30.2016 Buzz Aldrin
read the article 'Women in Science'
02.12.2016 Women in Science
This Dec. 17, 2015, view combines multiple images from the telephoto-lens camera of the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover to reveal fine details of the downwind face of "Namib Dune." Sand on this face of the dark dune has cascaded down a slope of about 26 to 28 degrees.
01.04.2016

Mastcam Telephoto of a Martian Dune's Downwind Face

This view combines multiple images from the telephoto-lens camera of the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover to reveal fine details of the downwind face of "Namib Dune." The site is part of the dark-sand "Bagnold Dunes" field along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp. Images taken from orbit have shown that dunes in the Bagnold field move as much as about 3 feet (1 meter) per Earth year.

Sand on this face of Namib Dune has cascaded down a slope of about 26 to 28 degrees. The top of the face is about 13 to 17 feet (4 to 5 meters) above the rocky ground at its base.

The downwind side of a sand dune displays textures quite different from those seen on other surfaces of the dune. Compare this scene, for example, to a windward surface of nearby "High Dune" (at http://mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/?ImageID=7581). As on Earth, the downwind side of these Martian dunes has a steep slope called a slip face, where accumulating sand flows in mini-avalanches down the face.

The component images of this mosaic view were taken on Dec. 21, 2015, during the 1,200th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. The mission's examination of dunes in the Bagnold field, along the rover's route up the lower slope of Mount Sharp, is the first close look at active sand dunes anywhere other than Earth.

The scene is presented with a color adjustment that approximates white balancing, to resemble how the sand would appear under daytime lighting conditions on Earth. Figure A includes a superimposed scale bar of 100 centimeters (39.4 inches).

Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates the rover's Mastcam. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover. For more information about Curiosity, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.nasa.gov/msl.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

More msl Images
All Images
USA.gov
PRIVACY     FAQ     SITEMAP     IMAGE POLICY     FEEDBACK