by Allie Leach
We wish we could blast off and visit Mars right now, but we'll have to settle for a glimpse of the Red Planet, courtesy of the UA Lunar and Planetary Lab's HiRISE camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Here's a shot of light-toned dunes on the Meridiani Planum:
Located in a small unnamed crater just west of Schiaparelli impact crater, this observation shows a portion of the crater's western slope and floor.
Previously imaged by MOC, this area was thought to possibly contain layered deposits on the crater wall. However, at HiRISE resolution, the floor is seen to consist of a diversity of landforms and terrain units.
Fractured light-toned units and a variety of dune fields are ubiquitous on the crater floor. Isolated flat-topped mesas are scattered throughout. Rectilinear and other intriguing dune forms near the crater wall suggest a variety of wind regimes have operated in this region.
For more information about the HiRISE, click here.