Mars and Earth certainly have a lot in common,but the differences between them abound. One of them was recently discovered by researchers from the University of Arizona - they found out that the sand hills on the planets are formed for completely different reasons and flow at different speeds. The new discovery will allow future colonizers of the Red Planet to better prepare for the new conditions - what will they see?
As it turned out, the speed of movement of sand duneson Mars varies greatly by region. The researchers learned about this, having studied the changes in 495 Martian dunes in height from 2 to 120 meters. For this, they used photos taken on the HiRISE camera of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft for about five Martian years.
The pictures made it clear that in such areas the Redplanets like Great Sirte, the mountain range of Hellespontus Montes and the sandy regions of Olympia and Abalos Undae, sands move faster than elsewhere on the planet. Meanwhile, the sand in other places of the planet moves 50 times slower than on Earth - they change their location by about half a meter a year. This difference in speed is due to the sharp boundaries of the landscape and temperature gradients.
On Earth, the speed of movement of the dunes is affectedcompletely different factors. In particular, groundwater and vegetation play a large role in this matter. You should also consider the wind speed, which on Mars is not high enough to quickly move the piles of sand. However, sometimes there are powerful dust storms, one of which destroyed the Opportunity apparatus.
You can read about the general features of Mars and Earth in our material - did you know that there are auroras on the Red Planet and that plants can be grown on its soil?
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