Of all the things we thought we might see while speeding past Pluto, we weren’t expecting the icy world to look quite this much like our home planet’s frozen poles. This is the science so far of those eerily familiar landscapes.
The many ergs of the Sahara Desert are a beautiful lesson in the shifting history of sand in the desert, and the shapes and scales of dunes
This is a tiny fragment of the Empty Quarter, a sand sea larger than France. Ar Rub' al Khali is an erg that stretches across four countries, covers most of the Arabian Peninsula, holds half as much sand as the larger Sahara Desert despite being 1/15th the size, and is absolutely gorgeous.
These long, slender dunes are part of Erg Chech, a massive sand sea in Africa. The slightly sinuous ridges are catching the last rays of a setting sun, popping up above the shadowy sand valleys in an eye-twisting perspective puzzle.
It's raining dunes! Well, no, not really, but these olivine-rich sand dunes on Mars really do look like classic cartoon drawings of raindrops sliding across the landscape.
The Juventae Chasma on Mars contains dunes of all sizes, from the smallest ripples through the largest draa towering hundreds of meters tall.
These dunes are a fleet of Star Fleet communicator badges (combadge), flying in formation across the Martian surface. The geomorphology of why this happens has nothing to do with Star Trek or transporter beams, and everything to do with aerodynamics.
These objects are startlingly reminiscent of Star Trek's Federation insignia — but they're geological features inside a large crater on Mars. It's a phenomenon, says NASA, that also explains why migratory birds fly in a v-shaped formation.