Scientists Observed Giant 'Megaripples' Moving On Mars
It is said about Mars that there is no wind. That is, there is no dust storm. But in a recent study, when NASA scientists did a detailed study of pictures of Mars, they found that sand dunes are moving there. The results of this study forced scientists to change many of their perceptions.
This was revealed by studying the pictures
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recently photographed sand dunes on Mars. From these pictures, a team of Planetary Scientist has shown that some structures of these sand dunes are slipping (leaving their place).
Researchers focused on two places for study
Researchers paid special attention to two areas of the red planet. On both the areas near the equator of the planet, they found that these piles of sand dunes spread here are slowly moving away from their place. they named this process "Megaripples". Many times these sand dunes move so slowly that they are not easily understood in maps and photographs.Read Also: ESA's Mars Express Mission Discovered Lakes Of Salty Water On Mars, Awakened New Hope Of Life
How many Megaripples were seen?
The team studied photographs of these two areas and found that there are about 1100 such Megaripples in the Mclaughlin crater. This crater was built about 4 billion years ago, which is 92 kilometers wide. There was a difference of 7.6 years in these pictures. Apart from these, 300 such piles of such sand have been seen in Nili Fossae area, which is one of the mysterious areas of Mars. Their pictures had a difference of 9.4 years.
At what speed are these Megaripples moving?
In the study published in the Journal of Geophysics Research: Planets, the researchers found that there are many such signs in both the areas which indicate the presence of these Megaripples. These Megaripples are moving at a speed of 10 cm per year. This discovery seems to break the long standing opinion under which it was believed that this particular type of mound is permanent and it has not moved since thousands of years ago when these mounds were built.Read Also: NASA Shared Images Of Largest Canyon Of Solar System Discovered On Mars
Other researchers are also surprised
Many researchers surprised by the discovery, Jim Geibelman, a Planetary Geologist at the National Air and Space Museum - Smithsonian Institute, told that for decades there was no evidence to suggest that there was activity in Mars soil. Nobody thought the wind would be so strong there.
Such Megaripples are also found on earth
According to Science magazine's report, similar slow moving Megaripples are also found on earth. Such moving sand dunes are found in the Lut Desert of Iran. This study seems to support the opinion that according to Mars, air moves faster than what was thought till now.
Is this rover also jammed due to typhoon?
Researchers believe that from the kind of Megaripples they have discovered, it is clear that there are signs of air flowing here, this blowing air can also bring dusty thunderstorms. It is said about Mars's Opportunity Rover that it has been trapped in the storms there for many months. NASA's JPL Curiosity Science team suspects that the rover's solar panels have been covered by the dust of the storm, which has stalled its ability to send and receive its signals for months.Read Also: Mars Curiosity Rover Shows Evidence Of Ancient "Megaflood" And Life On Mars
Sliding sand can also jam mechanical parts such as gear. Scientists will have to keep this in mind for the upcoming Mars missions, whether it is with humans or only for the rover.