MRO captured a look at the features with the Context camera and its HiRISE instrument, revealing greater detail.
Each cell is about 5-10 kilometers (3-6 miles), with rippling sand that suggests the region may have been subjected to wind erosion.
But, there may be other processes shaping the land as well.
Exposures of bedrock seen within the cells resemble features formed as dykes, NASA explains.
These are typically associated with volcanic activity.
According to NASA, “the lack of impact craters suggest that the landscape, along with these features, have been recently reshaped by a process, or number of processes that may even be active today.
“Scientists have been debating how these honeycombed features are created, theorized from glacial events, lake formation, volcanic activity, and tectonic activity, to wind erosion.”
Recently, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spotted a potential sand-producing region that could be feeding the red planet’s stunning expanse of dunes.
In a breathtaking new image, the space agency revealed a look at the sloping sediments near the boundary of Mars’ Southern highlands and Northern lowlands.
The image shows dark material is being eroded from layers of the bedrock in a massive surface depression, indicating the sand grains were not carried there by wind, according to NASA.
The image, captured by MRO’s Context Camera, shows linear markings in the huge depression that appear to slope downward.
This helps to tell the story of the processes taking place at the surface.
“The grains of sand that make up sand dunes on Earth and Mars have a hazardous existence because of the way that they travel,” NASA explained.
“Wind-blown sand is lifted above the surface of each planet before crashing onto the ground and bouncing in a sequence of repeated hops, a process called saltation.
“Sand grains can also roll along the ground as they are blown by the wind, and they are also jostled by other sand grains that are similarly flying across the surface.”
As these impacts repeat, the sand grains are worn down and smoothed out, eventually forming their spherical shape.
And, the tiny fragments that break of add to Mars’ dust deposits.
Over time, this process destroys the grains entirely – but, the region spotted in the image may help to keep Mars’ dunes going.
As Martian winter gives way to spring, the snow-covered features on the red planet begin to change form, driven by an influx of sunlight.
It might sound familiar to the seasonal changes that take place here on Earth – but, in Mars’ northern hemisphere, the snow and ice speckling the landscape is made not of water, but carbon dioxide.
And, when this ‘dry ice’ is exposed to the sun, it creates remarkable patterns across the surface.
A recent captured by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed a look at these features, showing how ice, sand, and gases react to form wave-like designs that ripple across the dunes.
The image was captured on May 21, 2017 by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, according to NASA.
At this time, spring was underway in the Northern hemisphere.
The Martian surface is covered in all sorts of remarkable features that have been brought to light by the spacecraft over recent years.
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