The NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) discovered a beautiful electric blue sand dune in the Lyot Crater.
The Lyot Crater is full of barchan dunes, shifting sand dunes that form waves in vibrant patterns. As the MRO passed over the crater, they discovered blue sand dunes that were comprised of a different, finer substance.
Unfortunately, they might night quite be as blue as the photograph suggests. Over at IFLScience, they discuss the difficulties of accurately photographing material in space.
As with plenty of space imagery, what you’re seeing in the photograph isn’t actually what it looks like. Depending on the filter used, or depending on what needs to be highlighted, the colors of the real deal are frequently altered. In this case, although the dunes are different from the surrounding geology, they’re certainly not quite as vibrantly blue as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s masters would have you briefly believe.
Still, it’s a fascinating look at our big red neighbor. Check out the news video below for more NASA goodness.