You may have heard of blue moons, but have you ever heard of blue dunes? More precisely, the blue dunes on Mars. If not, fear not, NASA has shared a photo of these unique colored sand clusters online, you will be amazed!
In fact, last Thursday, the US space agency released a photo of the breathtaking beauty in an article titled “Blue Toons on the Red Planet.” As mentioned in the post, there are dunes around the north pole cap of Mars, which are formed by gases in the air. The image below shows an area of 80.3 degrees north latitude, 172.1 degrees east longitude and 30 kilometers wide. But according to experts, Dunes Blue was found in an area comparable to Texas.
This particular display is thanks to the infrared camera of the Mars Odyssey space probe (placed in orbit around Mars in 2002, editor’s note), known as the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS). One of the most notable features of this photo is the clear color of the dunes. As described by NASA, the different colors in this image correspond to the different temperatures of the dunes.
The orange and yellow dunes have massive coral energy, indicating warmer temperatures. The blue areas in the upper left corner of the image look like dreamy lakes or blankets of snow, with cool temperatures.
A heat camera to reveal objects photographed on Mars
As explained in NASA In another post, Themis said, “Measuring surface temperatures day and night allows scientists to determine what physical objects are, such as rock, sand, or dust. Its data reveals the existence of data based on how these products heat up or cool down on a Tuesday. “THEMIS not only helps scientists create maps of Mars, but also allows them to identify the presence of objects, such as sandstone or salt,” the post said.
The photo of the blue dunes above combines the images taken by the satellite mentioned earlier in the article in December 2002 and November 2004. It is part of a collection of historical films compiled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Odyssey of Mars.
As a reminder, the study was launched from Cape Canaveral Airport in Florida on April 7, 2001, and entered orbit around the Red Planet in October of the same year. It is still in orbit for more than 20 years, making it the oldest surviving Martian object in history.
Impressive, isn’t it?
In 2018, NASA has already released images of different blue dunes located in the Lloyd Gorge area, here they are:
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