HiRISE image of the main Kaiser barchan dune. Can you spot the dust devil tracks on the left of the dune? HiRISE ESP-025689-1330

HiRISE image of the main Kaiser barchan dune. Can you spot the dust devil tracks on the left of the dune? HiRISE ESP-025689-1330

Good morning and welcome back to Universe Playpen!

This week, let’s take a look at some awesome dune formations, particularly found on one of the largest barchan dunes found in Kaiser crater, Mars!

Kaiser crater is located in the southern hemisphere on Mars and is one of several large craters with extensive dune fields in the center. Investigating these dune fields help us figure out how dunes can form within an enclosed area, how minerals move and shape dunes, and if seasonal reactions occur on the dunes.

Kaiser dunes show some awesome seasonal effects- mainly frost and the occasional dust devil tracks! When the frost thaws, gullies and slope streaks run down the dune, creating wild patterns!

Kaiser dunes have been imaged multiple times with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE camera so that we may observe these changes!

 Kaiser dune thawing from seasonal frost! Look how dramatic the dune gullies have become compared to the previous image! HiRISE PSP-001862-1330

Kaiser dune thawing from seasonal frost! Look how dramatic the dune gullies have become compared to the previous image! HiRISE PSP-001862-1330

Thank you for reading and come back next week for a segment on opal on Mars!