NASA has released a breathtaking picture of Mars’ majestic blue dunes…
According to NASA, the northern polar cap of Mars is surrounded by a sea of dark dunes sculpted into long lines by the wind.
According to NASA, the northern polar cap of Mars is surrounded by a sea of dark dunes sculpted into long lines by the wind. The NASA image covers a 30-kilometer region, but it is larger than the state of Texas in the United States.
The picture of the sand dunes is a false colour image, meaning the colours reflect temperatures. Warmer features are represented in yellows and oranges, while cooler features are depicted in bluer tints. As a result, the cool, sun-warmed dunes take on a stunning golden hue.
According to NASA, the image is part of a special series of images taken by the Thermal Emission Imaging System instrument on the Mars Odyssey orbiter.
The stunning photographs were captured between December 2002 and November 2004 and published to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Odyssey, the world’s longest-running spacecraft. The pictured position on Mars is 80.3 degrees north latitude, 172.1 degrees east longitude, according to the space agency.
The Mars Odyssey orbiter, launched in 2001, is a robotic spacecraft that circles the Red Planet. It employs a thermal imager to determine the composition of the earth, detect water and shallow submerged ice, and investigate the radiation environment.