Frosted Sand Dunes

Scaled Image

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ASU

About this image

This image displays sand dunes covered in CO2 frost. This is a region of Mars that contains circumpolar sand seas. The large sand deposits and the high speed winds that circulate around the pole allow for the formation of a huge dune field that surrounds the north polar cap. As the northern hemisphere progresses towards winter, CO2 frost condenses out of the atmosphere and covers the dunes. During northern spring, the CO2 sublimates and the dunes are once again uncovered and active. This image was taken as northern spring progressed and the crests of the dunes were just starting to be exposed. The dark dune material absorbs sunlight more efficiently than the brighter frost, aiding in the sublimation of the remaining frost.

Please see the THEMIS Data Citation Note for details on crediting THEMIS images. 


Image ID: 
V02330006 (View data in Mars Image Explorer)
2002-06-24 02:57
Mon, 2002-07-22
1024 pixels (20 km)
3648 pixels (72 km)
0.01986 km/pixel
0.020005 km/pixel


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