A World of Snowy Dunes

It is spring in the Northern hemisphere when we took this image. Over the winter, snow and ice have inexorably covered the dunes. Unlike on Earth, this snow and ice is carbon dioxide, better known to us as dry ice.

When the sun starts shining on it in the spring, the ice on the smooth surface of the dune cracks and escaping gas carries dark sand out from the dune below, often creating beautiful patterns. On the rough surface between the dunes, frost is trapped behind small sheltered ridges .

Written by: Candy Hansen (audio: Tre Gibbs)  (21 August 2017)

More info and image formats at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/ESP_050703_2560

Image: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona