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


View Comments

  • "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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


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