NASA Releases Stunning Image of Mars: Blue Dunes on the Red Planet

Blue Dunes on Mars

A sea of dark dunes, sculpted by the wind into long lines, surrounds the northern polar cap covering an area as big as Texas. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

A sea of dark dunes, sculpted by the wind into long lines, surrounds Mars’ northern polar cap and covers an area as big as Texas. In this false-color image, areas with cooler temperatures are recorded in bluer tints, while warmer features are depicted in yellows and oranges. Thus, the dark, sun-warmed dunes glow with a golden color. This image covers an area 19 miles (30 kilometers) wide.

This scene combines images taken during the period from December 2002 to November 2004 by the Thermal Emission Imaging System instrument on the Mars Odyssey orbiter. It is part of a special set of images marking the 20th anniversary of Odyssey, the longest-working Mars spacecraft in history. The pictured location on Mars is 80.3 degrees north latitude, 172.1 degrees east longitude.

NASA Odyssey
>> NASA’s Mars Odyssey Orbiter: 20 Historic Years of Mapping the Red Planet

59 Comments on "NASA Releases Stunning Image of Mars: Blue Dunes on the Red Planet"

  1. “NASA Releases Stunning Image of Mars: Blue Dunes on the Red Planet”

    Appreciate you saying in the lede this is a false-color image, but the click-bait headline says otherwise.

  2. A “stunning” photo? NO, a total BS false color image.

    I am sick of all the fake hype about Mars. Guess what? Pretty much no one cares. It ALL looks the same. “Wow, look at that rock!” Really? You would find a whole lot more interesting rocks in just about any valley in North America.

    • The image is to let you visualize the temperature number’s. A page of data numbers would mean nothing to you.

    • You don’t have to play with Mars rocks and sand. Go play with your own in the sandbox in your backyard. Anyways they all look the same. Right? Walk away and let mankind explore.

    • I’m sorry there is not more entitled trans-gender news for you. This actually is interesting to a lot of smart people, people that can look between their legs and figure stuff out.

  3. All this hype about a mission to essentially a dead rock orbiting our sun. A rock with no protective magnetic field to protect any life, ever.

  4. I see the results of lots of effort made to show me the universe so I will know understand it.

  5. When will NASA stop all of the ‘stunning’ fun stuff and get down to the reason for the trip…looking for evidence of life in billion year-old rocks. Maybe they already know that there isn’t any so colored pictures of wheel tracks and pebbles are all that’s left?

  6. I think that Mars exploration is important but does not promise any important gains in near future. Because of that, I believe we need more focusing on things which might provide some return value much earlier. What about having more attention on Psyche 16 missions? This asteroid is a metallic core of proto-planet. Probably is made of almost pure metal (mostly Iron, Nickel, and some rare metals). Ideal source of metal for a young civilisation which is making its first steps in its star system.

  7. Julius Mazzarella | April 12, 2021 at 2:20 pm | Reply

    I would need to read the fine print. Some photos are colorized. They called it enhancement. I think they can sketch it to look like anything you want. People have gotten really good with photography. I doubt that if you were standing next to those dunes they would look blue.

  8. I’m warming up to the idea that life existed there, maybe plant like, maybe microbal, but after losing its water and atmosphere, probably from not having a magnetic field, it became the radiation blasted surface we see today. But I’m curious to know if they find something. That would be big, sorta. And the evidence may be hard to find, a sheltered clay deposit under a shelf of rock, or buried.

  9. Where is our base on the moon?

  10. Outside looking in. | April 12, 2021 at 8:15 pm | Reply

    We’re mucking about on mars to learn how to make our machines and exploratory gadgets better. Mars is a mellow and relatively safe place to explore. Exploration is a human thing.

  11. Heather-Celeste | April 12, 2021 at 8:54 pm | Reply

    Hi I gotta agree with Larry B over hype vs actual technical progressive moves to get human beings on Mars for a fraction less and with tons more being completed with staying above the red planet in orbit what’s wrong with drone after drone leading the way to a more organic green mars for humans in like 400 years from now can safely decend to the Martian surface in a tropical oasis built by our robotics over years of constant international interest and hard corporative work together. I mean we got so many problems on Earth to fix and they sorta created problems vs actually living tofix our mistakes what mistakes can we begin on Mars?

  12. How about you chill the heck out and actually believe something for once, guys. It’s not like we will be going to the moon or Mars tomorrow, I doubt it. We barely can withstand a pandemic, yet expect NASA to just scoop up the population and drop us on a different planet in space? It is not like you are starving, if you can afford to buy a computer or smart device and go to a random site and call bull. It isn’t your problem, so don’t diss them.

  13. I’ve been combing the news last few days, do we just not have a president anymore or people told not to report about him? The last president couldn’t turn a corner without every newspaper writing something. Never get almost silence about our new leader, what a joke.

  14. i like the picture and the short take. plus thanks for saying false colored. i saw other pics of that claims to be the ground. the dirt doesn’t look red like some dirt here. so if ours is blue then what makes that one red? if the suns look yellow, orange, white and black and earths blue; then …?

  15. Either something significant was discovered on Mars that we are using billions of dollars exploding it or something terrible was discovered about earth and they are desperately trying to colonize Mars.

  16. Imagine, if a fraction of NASAS effort was invested in the rock we all are ruining, today. We will all be dead in 100 years, will Earth have life on it then? Exploring the universe is noble, saving Earth is fleeting. Sad irony.

  17. You all are missing the most important thing…
    Look in the lower left-hand corner you guys can’t see the little guy waving…???
    But then again it is 4am in the morning and I do smoke a lot of weed..😁

  18. They are just trying to show you what this planet is going to look like soon after we destroy it all over money! When there is more than enough resources for everyone. Mars is probably just an example of a species that most likely ruined their own planet. Probably over greed. Like what the people running this planet are doing. For all we know we could have migrated from that planet to this one with the same power lusting control freaks who destroyed that
    planet because they want everything to themselves no matter the cost all the while hiding all the evidence from us and now we are on this planet repeating the same mistakes with the same people in control. Just a theory… if so maybe give someone else a try. Might find true equality on a global scale. Oh well maybe we’ll get it right one day after evolve some more from the mindless apes. Nah, here we come cosmos the devourer of worlds human kind. Only god can save us from our own stupidity even though he gave us the strength to do it ourselves. Like helpless children we can’t change our ways. Just leave it to our poor children to deal with. America is supposed to set an example for the rest of the world. Instead our great nation enslaves 3rd world countries to it’s economy. Ah the money system it has destroyed every empire or civilization since the beginning of time but here we are finding ourselves still using it. Just the tip of the iceberg talk. stick together, do the right thing, and if we all just give then everyone will receive some simple reminders of the right track. Well good luck, good night, and God bless. Oh and P.S don’t read this..

  19. Lori Loughlin | April 13, 2021 at 1:57 am | Reply

    My daughters will get into Mars Community College based on their grades alone. Is there a rowing crew? Btw, my daughters both took that photograph — on their iPhones. Huzzah!

  20. I don’t think we have a base on the moon.

  21. I was talking to a religious friend who said we explore because we re searching for GOD. We think we can find GOD on mars now. Scientist justify this as reaching beyond our home. I’m not sure why we do these things, maybe no reason at all. I’d like to go, but it has to be safe and comfortable.

  22. Dianna Abelson | April 13, 2021 at 3:18 am | Reply

    I think the photos are awesome!! Thanks NASA!

  23. Thank yall for the articles, yall do amazing work and yall are what help keep America great

  24. Fake hype? Boring? Holy what? There is a robot driving and flying around another planet! I think every single piece of news is amazing in the true sense of the word. It’s wonderous, fantastic, Bewildering,stunning and out of this world. What crazy life you must live to call this hype or boring. And no, one can’t find a mars rock in any valley on earth. We’re exploring another planet! It’s crazy!

  25. It’s funny and said in the same time, how hard we’re trying to find new planets , where a man kind cut possible leave, and in the same time we are doing everything to destroy our beautiful planet where we already leave in comfort, with nuclear and biological wars threatening each other.

  26. Jarome Rinaldi | April 13, 2021 at 5:11 am | Reply

    It’s all fake its all shot in area 51 that way it can’t leak out to the papparazi .

  27. Donna Matthews | April 13, 2021 at 5:28 am | Reply

    All you nay-sayers and critics need to shut up. If you’re not interested in it… Don’t read it… It’s that simple.

  28. Roger Mcguinn | April 13, 2021 at 5:31 am | Reply

    Lost its atmosphere? Ok, so what’s with the parachutes? The sand storms? The helicopter? Earth is a radiation blasted rock. Stand outside without clothes on a bright sunny day and you will be cooked like a Maine lobster. Mars geologically dead? Oh, now we have seismic activity. Mars doesn’t have running water. But water? Plenty. It’s called “discovery.”

  29. Ananda seneviratne | April 13, 2021 at 6:15 am | Reply

    For me it looks like some paint on a plank.

  30. Ronald J Reames | April 13, 2021 at 6:53 am | Reply

    The original photos are grayscale or black and white. Its an artist who fills in the color

  31. Yeah, fake colors. That’s what we need. I get it. We need a new planet at some point, but if we would take better care of our mother earth we would have way more time to search. Mars IMO is just a waist of time and resources.
    Regards to everyone with common sense.

  32. Mars definitely has a glory, but absolutely pails in comparison to earths glory!

  33. They are not on Mars looking for fossilized microbes. They are researching what happened on Mars that destroyed a civilization very similar to ours in technology level. I assure you I’m not smoking or drinking anything at all. Soon some small portion of what us really going on will be disclosed, may be truth or might be more disinformation. I’m retired now but was privileged to work for The Office of Navy Intelligence at the Pentagon and I have seen things you would not believe, classified because they fear the truth would cause complete debasement of our society, belief systems and world economy. I think mankind deserves to know and could handle this information for the most part and would be healthy in the long term. I’m aware many will scoff at my comment but I feel I should make my beliefs known and those that seek to sequester this knowledge are not doing so in our best interests but to preserve the status quo such as it is. Microbes? They are aware of much more than that I can assure you. The nature of the Cosmos is much more complex and sublime than most could ever comprehend. That’s all I can state to you now but the dynamics if this matter seem to be shifting now and it’s possible some of this knowledge might become available to the public at large. Atleast I hope so.

  34. It’s not just about finding life there. It’s also about finding new minerals and metals that don’t exist on earth. If you think every element in the universe exists on earth, you have a very small view of the universe.

  35. I like this mag but dont forget NASA just released these photos that they used to determine temp variations. Not sure if they contacted media directly to flaunt the “ground breaking” photo. Plus NASA has to keep the public interested in order to keep funding or it will get cut down even further than it has. Just an opinion from an enthusiast.

  36. I’m very proud to be an American. The advances made in science and technology has benefit humanity all over world because we share our advances. The mission to Mars will continue that trend and all of us benefit in the far future.

  37. Hi good luck with machine on Mars but we need humans touch on the Mars till then we wait and learn about what machine are doing.

  38. NASA’s budget for fiscal year (FY) 2020 is $22.6 billion.[1] It represents 0.48% of the $4.7 trillion the United States plans to spend in the fiscal year.[2

  39. OK. so NASA’s budget for fiscal year 2020 is 0.48% of the $4.7 trillion the U.S.A. plans to spend…tell that to the parents of kids whose community-supported after-school programs have been terminated because “there isn’t any more money”, or the cuts in budgets in everything from research of all kinds to environmental remediation projects….and don’t “it isn’t an either-or”…the upshot is …if we need to re-do how we allocate funds, then that means some serious efforts by all of us, including the posters in these comments…..

  40. Yall think that NASA is useless, it has pioneered in a bunch of things s we use daily, like microchips or sunglasses, and has even helped make handheld mixers, do some research before you start to play the victim card.

  41. I think we should look at Mars the same as poets used to look at it rather than spending billions of money just to prove that Mars one day some kind of creatures lived on it or not. Until now we could not prove a %100 there are planets we can migrate to it and live in the same we do on our Earth even in the next 100 years.
    Better we look after Earth and stop damaging it by our hates to all been crested for us to enjoy our lives.
    In my first novel (Mules On Mars) I pointed to that mistake we are doing it towards each other and our Earth and how we fail to cope to live there then decide to leave it and come back to Earth even after we ruined it.

  42. Lie over lie

  43. 1 year budget of nasa can feed 9 years of famine on the whole earth. Bravo for ur research, in 1000s n more year u’ll find a blue planet then u’ll talk 1000s of years to construct how to travel there. Bravo….

  44. I hope all the extraterritorial exploration not a waist. iF we don’t take care of this planet, how are we going to take care of another?

  45. Casey Galindo-Scott | April 15, 2021 at 3:44 pm | Reply

    What’s all of this “we” talk? We aren’t doing anything. “We” are on phones or computers backseat advising. NASA is doing things. Elon Musk is doing things. “We” are the forever useless consumers/whiners. “We” can go take a flying leap. Keep the images coming. It’s fun to dream.

  46. Do you think life could be on Mars? Maybe people lived on Mars long ago. Who’s knows.

  47. Looks like a distorted picture of penguins in the ocean

  48. I would rather NASA to study higher intelligent life forms from other galaxy’s. And the UFO that have come to earth visiting us humans with Thier so called sofisticated flying machines that travel from galaxy to another in a matter of seconds. I saw a couple of weeks ago seven flying object flying over Albury it was awesome view to watch.

  49. Meh is my name | April 17, 2021 at 12:28 am | Reply

    The title needs to stop, i hate having to read an article just to find all these are fake, I’d rather message nasa on social media asking for an actual photo! These fake ones are pissing me off, I cant keep dealing with it! Like just f*@k off with all these fake ones, also nobody gonna be able to live on the planet, it’s not gonna be near possible. The temperature needs to be hella cooled in one house to do it!

  50. We have not been able to explore one tenth of the earth’s resources yet wasting so much to explore a planet millions of miles away.

  51. We spent $2.7 billion on a stupid robot selfie and these edited photos. Idiots will say it’s worth it to learn some knowledge of another planet. We can’t take care of or even feed everyone on our own planet so of course wasting that much money on exploring a planet with no valuable resources, no option to garden plants or food and no further knowledge that is vital for anything, would seem like a great idea to the same idiotic babbling dorks that want to colonize it and hopefully have a malfunction of 02 with their last thoughts being ‘my life is worth not finding anything significant at all’ and you’d be right… it is.

    • Finally someone sensible who doesn’t swallow all the crap they are feeding us. They just want their high salaries while producing nothing that helps society in any way.

  52. Any sign of gold up there

  53. Imagine wasting billions of dollars just to study temperature differences on a dead planet, when there are sick people on earth and people who live in poverty. We won’t get anything of value from mars. Not even if they happen to find traces of orgasms that once lived there. Just give up already. It’s a futile endeavour for our short lifespans.

  54. I know this comment will be ridiculed, and what I say will be considered absolutely ridiculous, but here it is. There’s no need to worry about taking care of this planet because this planet is already doomed. Let’s break this down logically. At least my logic… We have billions of dollars being spent on space exploration, 3 drones landed on Mars just this year alone (why so many and why now). Elon Musk is practically guaranteeing life on the moon or other planets in the next 2 decades. Now let’s look at what where our focus is being manipulated towards. We had a president for the last 4 years on every news outlet, all over the world, almost every minute of our waking hours, we’ve had scandals of epic proportions, admission of the actual existence and pictures of UFOs, racial tensions all over the world fueled purely by government bias and media manipulation, stock market and financial anomalies, forgeries, scandal, disasters all on the verge of collapse, and finally, but most disturbing, a worldwide pandemic something never seen before by anyone alive today. It all boils down to one very simple conclusion. WAKE THE FU*$ UP PEOPLE BECAUSE YOUR BEING DISTRACTED! While we are so busy trying to fight one another over racial inequality that is perpetuated by “government” policy that essentially keeps the races among the common people from coming together, while we pay attention to what our leaders are doing wrong or how one is better than the other, while we get caught up in the financial madness and monetary changes taking place, while we concentrate on all the photos of a planet that could very well be nothing more than 200 square feet of dirt in a a desert in the middle of nowhere while Mars is actually abundant with life (human or otherwise), while we ohh and ahh at the new evidence of UFO spacecraft, we miss the stuff that matters.
    How many people understand the implications of a recent comet that was just discovered this past year that happened to suddenly appear and was visible to the naked eye as it is the closest and largest comet to blaze past our planet (Neo wise). Does anyone realize how many reported so-called (fireballs) meteors that have pummeled Earth in the past 3 months, in the past year? Has anyone else not heard about or find it just slightly alarming all the recent discoveries of space debris coming within only hundreds of thousands of miles from Earth that were only realized within a time much too late for us to have any chance of steering its course in the event it was on a direct trajectory with Earth. The most relevant question: If the powers that be knew the world as we know it were coming to an end, do you seriously think they’d let human-kind know?
    My reality is something very large or multiple things have blown up in the nether regions of the universe and that debris is just now reaching our solar system. While we’re all fighting one another and focusing on trivial bullsh*t, we’re being distracted by taking our eyes off the skies. When the devine intervention of that special chunk of space matter decides to impact this planet, we’ll still be concentrated on who’s right, who’s wrong, who’s better and who’s worse. The elite already have their safe havens and will be long gone before our inevitable demise. So even if you think this comment is nothing more than absolute garbage and my thesis is inconceivable, are you at least willing to stop listening and being manipulated by those who mean nothing and start loving your neighbor again. If I’m correct, then what do you honestly think is going to change about how we live life today? Exactly, nothing! If I’m not correct, then you’ve lost nothing but a few minutes of reading time. Of course, none of it really matters until people finally stop being distracted by all the blur, tune it out, and use THEIR OWN EYES TO START LOOKING AT THE SKY! Anyone who believes the scenario above is just rambling of a crazy person or science fiction that will never happen, I truly am envious of your blissful ignorance!

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