NASA has shared a unique image of the surface of Mars with blue ripples all over it. The image reveals the secret behind winds on the red planet.
On Monday, July 25, NASA shared a stunning Mars image. It displayed the surface of the red planet with sand dunes that form small hilly crests. However, the top of the crests were covered in a blue colour, giving it an appearance of blue ripples moving over the sand dunes of Mars. The space agency revealed that the blue tinge did not come naturally in the Mars photo. NASA says the colour was added by it. But it was not added as a fancy filter to make the image look cool. There is an important scientific reason behind it. Scientists have been studying the wind movements on the red planet and this photo elaborates on how the wind systems work there. Read on to know the secrets of the wind revealed by this Mars photo.
It should be noted that just a month ago, the NASA Mars Rover reported dust carrying whirlwinds known as dust devils on Mars. It was an intriguing find that such dust storms not only got as large as 4 square kilometers, but also occurred multiple times a day. Now, expanding upon its knowledge of the wind system on the red planet, NASA researchers decided to use these blue ripples to understand how the wind moves.
NASA shares Mars image with blue ripples
The image was taken near the center of Gamboa Crater. It explained in the post accompanying the image, “There are tiny ripples on the tops of the dunes, only several feet from crest-to-crest. These merge into larger mega-ripples about 30 feet apart that radiate outward from the dunes. The larger, brighter formations that are roughly parallel are called “Transverse Aeolian Ridges” (TAR). These TAR are covered with very coarse sand”.
The TAR explains the wind feature of the planet. On the right side the ripples appear in blue-green color while on the left side, it appears in bright blue. This happens because the wind is blowing faster on the left side of the image and the TAR appears in bright color. On the right side, the slower moving wind gives it an ocean green color.
“All of these different features can indicate which way the wind was blowing when they formed. Being able to study such variety so close together allows us to see their relationships and compare and contrast features to examine what they are made of and how they formed,” the NASA post added.