Some really cool things are happening on Mars!

Some really ground breaking things are happening with Curiosity!

This week they are driving through a dune field – the first time that this has ever happened off of Earth. It’s huge for the planetary dunes community because so many questions can be answered by just a few good observations here. 1) what is the size and composition of the material that comprises the dunes? 2) what is the actual wind speed threshold for saltation (we can model it but don’t know for sure in this atmosphere), 3) how active are the dunes, and when are they most active during the day.

Like I said before, we have only been able to model these problems until now. Breakthroughs abound!

Some cool but raw images. Remember that the sand is dark black on Mars.

Looking at the dune slipface

looking at the bottom of the dune

Again

Really amazing!

Stunning

We’ve been dreaming about shots like this for years now

Can’t wait to drive here

And Here

and here
This also means that we’re actually getting close to the mountain.