Mars and Earth certainly has a lot in common, but also differences between them abound. One of them was recently discovered by researchers from the University of Arizona — they found that the sand hills on the planets are formed for different reasons and occur with different speeds. The new discovery will allow future colonists of the red planet to better prepare for new conditions — that they will see?
As it turned out, the speed of movement of sand dunes on Mars varies greatly depending on the region. The researchers learned by reviewing the changes in 495 Martian dunes, ranging in height from 2 to 120 meters. For this they used photos taken by the HiRISE camera of the spacecraft Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for about five Martian years.
The pictures were given to understand that in the areas of the red planet as Big of Sirte, the mountain chain Hellespontus Montes and sandy regions of the Olympia Undae and Abalos, the Sands are moving faster than in other places of the planet. Meanwhile, the sand in other places of the planet moves 50 times slower than on Earth — in the year they change their location approximately half a meter. This difference in speed is due to the sharp boundaries of the terrain and temperature gradients.
On Earth the speed of movement of dunes is influenced by completely different factors. In particular, in this case, a greater role played by groundwater and the vegetation cover. You should also consider the wind speed, which on Mars is not high enough to quickly move piles of sand. However, sometimes there are powerful dust storms, one of which killed the machine “opportunity”.
About the similarities of Mars and Earth can be read in our material — did you know that on the red planet also have auroras, and on its soil to grow plants?
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