'Nathan Bridges Dune' on a Martian Mountain
A rippled linear dune of dark Martian sand, "Nathan Bridges Dune," dominates this full-circle panorama from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. This dune was one research stop of the rover mission's campaign to investigate active Martian dunes.
The feature was informally named in 2017 in memory of Nathan Bridges (1966-2017), a planetary scientist who was a leader of the Curiosity team's dune campaign.
The scene combines 112 images taken with Mastcam's left-eye camera on Feb. 5, 2017, during the 1,601st Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. The panorama has been white-balanced so that colors of the rock and sand materials resemble how they would appear under daytime lighting conditions on Earth. The center is toward east-southeast and both ends are toward west-northwest. The dark butte on the horizon in the left half is "Ireson Hill." Upper Mount Sharp is on the horizon in the center.
Figure 1 is an annotated version with scale bars, in meters, indicating dimensions at three locations in the scene. On the left, one scale bar refers to features at the top of the butte about 138 feet (42 meters) from the camera and, below that, another refers to features in an outcrop about 82 feet (25 meters) from the camera. On the right, the scale information refers to features at a mesa about one-third of a mile (550 meters) away.
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Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates the Mastcam. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover.