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Martian Winds Carve Mountains, Move Dust, Raise Dust

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On Mars, wind rules. Wind has been shaping the Red Planet’s landscapes for billions of years and continues to do so today. Studies using both a NASA orbiter and a rover reveal its effects on scales grand to tiny on the strangely structured landscapes within Gale Crater.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, on the lower slope of Mount Sharp — a layered mountain inside the crater — has begun a second campaign of investigating active sand dunes on the mountain’s northwestern flank. The rover also has been observing whirlwinds carrying dust and checking how far the wind moves grains of sand in a single day’s time.

 

NASA, Feb.27, 2017

Mars Daily, Feb.28, 2017

 

Featuring: Mackenzie Day, Ph.D. student, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences