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This color image shows two nearly vertical swaths of wavy, white, ice-covered dunes bearing horizontal dark streaks and round dark spots. Between the dunes is a smooth, reddish-pink, rippled surface.
Full Res JPG (508 kB)
Conspicuous dark streaks atop icy dunes on Mars allure scientists and non-scientists, yet their origin remains a mystery. Perhaps they are small avalanches or patches of sand covered by a thin veneer of ice. Perhaps they formed when cold gas jets of evaporating ice spewed dust onto the surface.

Imagine being able to point a camera at such features from 60 million miles away! Students in Budapest, Hungary effectively did that, selecting this site for observation from orbit through a program that invites the public to help NASA select targets for imaging on Mars.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UofA/High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment

Explore the HiRISE Web site >>
Read about the classroom program >>

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