NASA reveals shocking images of winter on Mars
Winter is already present in various parts of the world and beyond the stars. The POT revealed surprising images of that season of the year, but in Mars. From the formation of Martian snow to pictures of how the planet’s terrain looks like when these winters arrive, they were recorded by the US space agency.
the poles of Mars reach extreme temperatures minus 123 degrees Celsius, despite the fact that no more than “a few meters of snow is recorded on the planet, most of which falls on extremely flat areas,” said the POT.
There are two types of snow on Mars
The martian snow that is formed in the Red planet comes in two varieties: water ice and carbon dioxide, or dry ice. Because the Martian air is so thin and the temperatures so cold, the water ice snow sublimates, or turns into a gas, even before it hits the ground, as mentioned in the POT.
How do we know it snows?
The snow occurs only in the colder extremes of Mars: at the poles, under cloud cover and at night. Cameras on orbiting spacecraft can’t see through those clouds, and surface missions can’t survive in the extreme cold. As a result, no images of falling snow have ever been captured. But scientists know what happens thanks to some special scientific instruments.
The NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter you can look through the cloud layer using your instrument Mars Climate Sounder, which detects light at wavelengths imperceptible to the human eye. That ability has allowed scientists to detect carbon dioxide snow falling to the ground.
And in 2008, the POT sent the Phoenix lander some 1,600 kilometers from north pole of marswhere he used a laser instrument to detect frozen snow falling to the surface.
Because of how water molecules stick together when they freeze, snowflakes on Earth have six sides. The same principle applies to all crystals: the way the atoms are arranged determines the shape of a crystal.
In the case of carbon dioxide, the molecules of dry ice always stick together in the shape of a four when they freeze. “Because carbon dioxide ice has a symmetry of four, we know that dry ice snowflakes would be cube-shaped,” he said. Sylvain Piqueuxa Mars scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in southern California.
“Thanks to Mars Climate Sounderwe can say that these snowflakes would be smaller than the width of a human hair.”
As he water like carbon dioxide can form frost on Mars, and both types of frost appear much more widely across the planet than snow. Viking landers saw frozen water when they surveyed Mars in the 1970s, while NASA’s Odyssey orbiter observed frost formation and sublimation on the morning of the Sun.
The wonderful end of winter
Perhaps the most fabulous discovery comes at the end of the winterwhen all the ice that accumulates begins to “unfreeze” and sublime into the atmosphere. As it does so, this ice takes on strange and beautiful shapes that have reminded scientists of spiders or a fried egg.
This “thaw” it also causes geysers to erupt: translucent ice allows sunlight to heat the gas below it, and that gas eventually erupts, sending fans of dust to the surface. In fact, scientists have begun studying these fans as a way to learn more about which way the fans are blowing. martian winds.