This image shows sand in the Martian terrain.
Click on image for full size
Image from: JPL/NASA
Sand grains on Earth are usually made of quartz. Sand grains of Mars seem to come from basalt. They seem to be particles which are cemented together, rather than round crystal fragments such as sand grains on Earth.
Sand is an important agent of erosion, although another important weathering mechanism on Mars is Acid Fog.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist
specimens, and educational games
You might also be interested in:
Basalt is volcanic rock. It is the most common type of rock in the Earth's crust and it makes up most of the ocean floor. It forms when lava reaches the Earth's surface at a volcano or mid ocean ridge....more
The Mars Odyssey was launched April 7, 2001. After a six-month journey, the Odyssey arrived at Mars on October 24, 2001. The instruments onboard the Mars Odyssey will study the minerals on the surface...more
The Mars 2005 mission is still in the planning stages. It is set to launch in the year 2005. ...more
Aerobraking slowed the Mars Global Surveyor down when it reached Mars. Aerobraking also helped MGS to get into the right orbit for mapping the surface of Mars. Aerobraking means that the MGS flew through...more
Mars Global Surveyor carries an instrument which measures the heights of things. This instrument is called an altimeter, or "altitude-meter". The graph to the left shows the results returned from Mars...more
Mars Global Surveyor carries an instrument which measures the heights of things. The picture to the left shows Mars Global Surveyor's measurement of the size of the giant cliff which separates the southern...more
Mars Global Surveyor carries an instrument which measures the heights of things. The picture to the left shows the results returned from Mars Global Surveyor's measurement of the size of some of the Martian...more