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The Big Picture: Mars' fractured surface underneath the dunes


The dune images Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter sends back to Earth helps NASA study erosion, wind, weather and movement of materials on the red planet. But this image taken by the orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on July 30th shows the fractured surface underneath sand dunes more prominently. According to the agency, the textured ground could be bedrock that has cracks all over due to extreme temperature changes. Or, it could be a sedimentary layer that developed fractured after it dried up. Either way, NASA can use this photo (among the others that HiRISE took) to take a closer look at the planet's surface.

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