Hanna and more than a thousand scientists and engineers were still in the throes of verifying the September 2015 detection, and they ended up working double-time over the winter of 2015 to juggle both analyses. Ultimately, the scientists were able to tease out the comparatively quiet December detection, which is described in an analysis published today in Physical Review Letters.
Wind blowing over sand on Earth produces decimeter-wavelength ripples and hundred-meter– to kilometer-wavelength dunes: bedforms of two distinct size modes. Observations from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that Mars hosts a third stable wind-driven bedform, with meter-scale wavelengths. These bedforms are spatially uniform in size and typically have asymmetric profiles with angle-of-repose lee slopes and sinuous crest lines, making them unlike terrestrial wind ripples. Rather, these structures resemble fluid-drag ripples, which on Earth include water-worked current ripples, but on Mars instead form by wind because of the higher kinematic viscosity of the low-density atmosphere. A reevaluation of the wind-deposited strata in the Burns formation (about 3.7 billion years old or younger) identifies potential wind-drag ripple stratification formed under a thin atmosphere.
The desolate land that covers our neighbouring planet, giving it its unmistakeable red hue, has continued to surprise researchers since they began investigating Mars' surface. Now the red planet has revealed another surprise, which could provide scientist with clues into the history of the world. Researchers have discovered a new type of dune on Mars that look similar to those that form underwater on Earth. Researchers have discovered a new type of dune on Mars, and it is unlike anything seen on Earth. These ripples are different in terms of size, morphology, and the way they form, from any other known.