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Lori Fenton
Works at SETI Institute; NASA Ames Research Center
Attended California Institute of Technology
Lives in Bay area of CA
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Lori Fenton

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A piece of Mars: On the left is high ground, covered with dunes (or maybe they're ripples) running from upper left to lower right. On the right is low ground, covered in deeply eroded dunes (ripples?) running almost from left to right. They were probably created at two different times by winds ...
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Thanks for posting that!
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Lori Fenton

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A piece of Mars: There's an egg-shaped plateau here (the whole scene is 480×270 m or 525×295 yd across, the “egg” is ~100 m long). It's partly covered by dunes that have extended across it. Or were the dunes there first and it buried them? Probably the former, but you can try to convince ...
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To me, it seems like the dunes must have been there first—otherwise, wouldn't the plateau have distorted the geometry and spacing of the dunes as they formed? One dune slices through the plateau, and it seems especially hard to imagine that forming after the plateau was present. 
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A piece of Mars: In this image (0.96×0.54 km or 0.6×0.33 mi), it's late winter and the sun is barely above the horizon here near the north pole. The dunes are covered in winter frost, most of which is CO2 ice (also known as dry ice). The dark regions are those facing the sun, where the ice has ...
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A piece of Mars: this 0.96×0.54 km (0.6×0.33 mi) scene shows a large, rippled dune that is slowly marching towards the upper right. The smooth striped band running from upper left to lower right is the slip face, where sand pushed by the wind eventually avalanches. Smaller scars show where slope ...
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Is blue vs beige a different grain size, or ??
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A piece of Mars: Yes, I post a lot of pictures of martian dunes with striped patterns. They're all distinct and beautiful. So here's another one, 480×270 m (0.3×0.17 mi) in size. These beasts moved from right to left across the scene, some of them leaving behind some stripey deposits in their ...
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A piece of Mars: Below this ~550 m (0.3 mi) wide crater lies a ~1.3 km (0.8 mi) long “beard”, the wake of an ancient flow around the crater. Based on its location on Mars, I'm guessing the fluid flowing was lava. Inside the (interestingly dual) crater are bedforms, the remnants of more recent ...
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Lori Fenton

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A piece of Mars: These dunes look strangely triangular, a little bit like a flock of stealth bombers. Why? They're two-faced barchans. Each flat face is an avalanche slope that faces downwind, formed by one of two distinct wind patterns that blow in this area (probably seasonally).
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A piece of Mars: So much wind. There are dark swirly tracks of dust devils that have passed by, ripples covering dunes, wind scours around rocks, and of course dunes. Dune crests have a different color than other regions: are they less covered in dust? made of a more grayish sand that is more ...
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A piece of Mars: These dunes are some of the smallest on Mars. The smallest in this frame is ~150 m long (492 ft). But the smallest Earth dunes are ~20 m across. Why are they so much bigger on Mars? The air is thinner, so the wind has to blow stronger to lift sand grains.
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A piece of Mars: The surface in this 960×540 m (0.6×0.34 mi) scene has a distinct fabric to it that runs from the upper left to lower right. Are these old lithified dunes? And what makes the tiny filamentary lines that run from upper right to lower left, are those ripples?
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A piece of Mars: This 300×300 m (984×984 ft) scene shows bright windblown dunes or ripples arrayed in a lacy pattern (the biggest ones are about 5 m, or 16 ft, across). This is near the landing site of Ares 3, a science fiction book called “The Martian”, by Andy Weir that's being made into a ...
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A Piece of Mars: With all due apologies to followers of the show Coupling, I have to call these things “melty dunes”. This link shows what a crisp dune should look like. The dunes in this 600×450 m (0.37×0.28 mi) scene, however, have rounded crests and sand that seems to have ponded around the ...
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Have her in circles
1,722 people
Chinthaka Prasad's profile photo
t grey's profile photo
Kara Silverstein's profile photo
Paul Carr's profile photo
Olaniyi Orimoloye's profile photo
Sintu Love's profile photo
jessie Review's profile photo
Clàudia Dias's profile photo
Joan Sousae's profile photo
Education
  • California Institute of Technology
    Planetary Science, 1996 - 2003
  • University of Maryland, College Park
    Astronomy and Physics, 1991 - 1996
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Work
Occupation
planetary scientist
Employment
  • SETI Institute; NASA Ames Research Center
    planetary scientist, 2006 - present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Bay area of CA
Previously
Columbia, MD