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New Planet Landscape

Finally. Images beamed back from some bizarre landscape.

Ridgelines in ice; foreground spheres

The surface of Pluto? No, New Horizons did a Pluto flyby in 2015, but it did not stop or drop a lander.

The surface of Mars? Well, we do have craft on the ground there. And there's evidence of ice under the surface, both on Mars and in these images.

Circles of ice and sand

Only that's not land. That's lake.

Lake Michigan shore, looking north, 2016 Feb 20

Actually, there was a satellite orbiting the planet and taking images. The icy shoreline is a thin ring around a mostly ice-free body of water.

MODIS-Lake Michigan-2016 February 20

Yet there is clear evidence the planet is getting steadily hotter.

NASA/GISS, January 2016

Though these landscapes look other-worldly, they're along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. In the image below, the St. Joseph, MI, lighthouse is in the distance, with the pierhead light to its right under the evening sun. The ridgeline to the far right, with a veneer of sand on it, is offshore ice. Meanwhile, the exposed roots of the dune grass give testimony to previous high water.

Lake Michigan shore, looking south, Feb 20, 2016

The other way, opposite the sun, the spectacle continues.

Moonrise over the dune

Time Stamp: February 20, 2016

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