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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

New Mexico? Utah? Arizona? no Mars!

New Mexico? Utah? Arizona? no Mars!

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, January 2, 2016/Categories: natural history, photography, space science, environment

                 Mount Sharp with Dune Field, Gale Crater, Mars  (credit: JPL)

The Curiosity rover photographed a Martian panorama that could easily pass for landscapes in New Mexico, Utah, or Arizona. The durable robot is now climbing up Mount Sharp in Gale Crater.

A dune field, informally named the Bagnold Dunes in a tribute to British engineer Ralph Bagnold, is seen as a dark band across the lower portion of the image. According to JPL, Bagnold (1896-1990), was a pioneer in the study of how winds move sand particles of dunes on Earth. The Mars landscape is presented with a color adjustment balancing, the white tones to resemble how the rocks and sand would appear under mid-daytime conditions on Earth. A scale bar represents ~160 feet in the perspective.

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