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Oval Dune Field by NASA on the Depict FrameOval Dune Field by NASA
Oval Dune Field by NASA

Oval Dune Field, 2016


This image could be a close-up of the rippled back of a tiger shark or a two-spined zebra, with dots instead of stripes. It isn’t a huge leap to see a bony ribcage pattern beneath a stretched, leathery hide. It could also be a series of ink blotches splattered in a Rorschach test gone wrong. What we’re actually seeing is a satellite image of sand dunes on Mars taken on a summer afternoon. Even when we know its context, this image challenges us to look more deeply, inviting comparisons to art.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
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