NASA reveals shocking images of winter on Mars

Winter is already in different parts of the world and beyond the stars. the a pot She revealed amazing photos of that season of the year, but in Mars. From the formation of Martian snow to images of what the planet’s topography looks like when this winter arrives, it has been recorded by the US space agency.

Poles Mars reach extreme temperatures minus 123 degrees Celsius, Despite the fact that no more than “a few meters of snow has ever been recorded on the planet, most of it falls in very flat areas,” he said. a pot.

There are two types of snow on Mars

the Mars snow that was formed in red planet It comes in two types: Water ice, carbon dioxide or dry ice. Because the Martian air is so thin and the temperatures so cold, water ice sublimates, or turns into gas, even before it hits the ground, as noted in a pot.

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona.

How do we know it’s snowing?

the The snow It only happens in extreme cold Mars: at the poles, under cloud cover and at night. Cameras on spacecraft in orbit can’t see through those clouds, and surface missions can’t survive the extreme cold. As a result, no snowfall photos were taken. But scientists know what’s going on thanks to some special science tools.

the NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter You can look through the cloud layer with your instrument The safest Martian climate, which detects light in wavelengths imperceptible to the human eye. This ability allowed scientists to detect carbon dioxide snow falling on Earth.

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And in 2008, the program a pot The Phoenix lander was sent about 1,600 kilometers from Mars North Polewhere he used a laser instrument to detect frozen snow falling on the roof.

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona.

cube snowflakes

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 the crystal.

In case if Carbon DioxideDry ice particles always stick together in a four-shape when they freeze. “Because carbon dioxide ice has a symmetry of four, we know that dry snowflakes will be cube-shaped,” he said. Sylvain PiceauMars scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

“Thanks to The safest Martian climateWe can say that these snowflakes will be smaller than the width of a human hair.”

As is Water such as carbon dioxide can form frost on Mars, and both types of frost appear more widely across the planet than snow. The Viking lander saw frozen water when they surveyed Mars in the 1970s, while NASA’s Odyssey rover observed frost formation and sublimation in the morning sun.

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona.

Wonderful end of winter

Perhaps the most amazing discovery comes at the end winterwhen each file ice which accumulates begins “unfreeze” And sublime in the atmosphere. In doing so, this ice took on strange, beautiful shapes that reminded scientists of spiders or a fried egg.

this is “melting” It also causes geysers to erupt: the transparent ice allows sunlight to heat the gas beneath, and that gas eventually erupts, sending fans of dust to the surface. In fact, scientists are beginning to study these fans as a way to learn more about the way fans blow. Mars winds.

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