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Stunning NASA image shows 'Morse code' dunes on Mars

NASA has released an image of dunes on Mars that bear a striking similarity to Morse code.

The image, which was taken on Feb. 6, 2016 by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, shows a series of dark dunes on the Red Planet’s surface, Fox News reports.

In a statement, NASA explained that the dunes are influenced by local Martian topography. “The shape and orientation of dunes can usually tell us about wind direction, but in this image, the dune-forms are very complex, so it’s difficult to know the wind direction,” it said.

The space agency notes that a circular depression on Mars, which is probably an old impact crater, has limited the amount of sand available for dune formation and also influenced local winds. “As a result, the dunes here form distinct dots and dashes,” it said. “The ‘dashes’ are linear dunes formed by bi-directional winds, which are not traveling parallel to the dune.”


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