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This map shows the two locations of a research campaign by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover mission to investigate active sand dunes on Mars. In late 2015, Curiosity reached crescent-shaped dunes, called barchans. In February 2017, the rover reached a location where the dunes are linear in shape.
02.27.2017

Curiosity's Bagnold Dunes Campaign: Two Types of Dunes

This map shows the two locations of a research campaign by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover mission to investigate active sand dunes inside Gale Crater on Mars.

The Bagnold Dunes form a dark band on the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp, inside the crater. In late 2015 and early 2016, Curiosity examined crescent-shaped dunes, called barchans, which are convex on the downwind (leeward) side. This was the first close-up study of active sand dunes anywhere other than Earth. In February 2017, the rover reached a location where the dunes are linear in shape, and the mission began Phase 2 of its dunes campaign.

A map showing Curiosity's full traverse from landing to this part of Mount Sharp is at mars.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/2016/late-2016-map-of-nasas-curiosity-mars-rover-mission , with the Phase 1 location of the dune campaign identified as "Gobabeb," a specific site where the rover scooped up sand for analysis.

The base image for the map is a portion of observation ESP_035917_1755 by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. North is up.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

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