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A tapestry of rippling sand dunes on Mars

12 May 2018 Astronomy Now

Surrounding about a quarter of Mars’ northern polar cap is a vast field of crescent-shaped barchan sand dunes covering an area larger than the U.S. state of California. Seen in summer when the dunes were free of frost, Odyssey captured a stunning tapestry of unearthly wind-blown beauty.


Unusual Martian region leaves clues to planet’s past

27 September 2016 Astronomy Now

Researchers studying the geography and mineralogy of an area on Mars known as Thaumasia Planum, based on Gamma Ray Spectrometer data collected by the Mars Odyssey Orbiter launched in 2001, have found that the mountain ridge outlining Greater Thaumasia was most likely created by a chain of ancient volcanoes.