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Jamming with the 'Spiders' from Mars

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Jamming with the 'Spiders' from Mars

Post by Dragon on Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:33 pm



This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, acquired May 13, 2018 during winter at the South Pole of Mars, shows a carbon dioxide ice cap covering the region and as the sun returns in the spring, "spiders" begin to emerge from the landscape.

But these aren't actual spiders. Called "araneiform terrain," describes the spider-like radiating mounds that form when carbon dioxide ice below the surface heats up and releases. This is an active seasonal process not seen on Earth. Like dry ice on Earth, the carbon dioxide ice on Mars sublimates as it warms (changes from solid to gas) and the gas becomes trapped below the surface.

Source / Image Courtesy

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Re: Jamming with the 'Spiders' from Mars

Post by Dragon on Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:34 pm



Over time the trapped carbon dioxide gas builds in pressure and is eventually strong enough to break through the ice as a jet that erupts dust.

The gas is released into the atmosphere and darker dust may be deposited around the vent or transported by winds to produce streaks.

The loss of the sublimated carbon dioxide leaves behind these spider-like features etched into the surface.

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Re: Jamming with the 'Spiders' from Mars

Post by Dragon on Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:37 pm



The European Space Agency's Mars Express has captured an unusually wide-ranging view of the planet's southern side.

It's unusual because the orbiter’s camera is almost always pointed straight down while close to the surface—but not this time.

The atypical image shows a swirling spot of white set against the pale, red landscape. This polar ice cap is made up of frozen water and carbon dioxide.

Its features shift as seasons change. In colder months the cap expands into the visibly smooth adjacent areas. Just above those areas are the planet's southern highlands. The highlands have multiple impact craters, closely-packed, of various sizes, in myriad states of erosion.

Dark wisps of sand—actually massive dunes—can be seen as well, slinking across the desert, filling in craters with their deep-hued dust. At the very top are a few clouds and a tiny bit of atmosphere spread along the planet's horizon


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Re: Jamming with the 'Spiders' from Mars

Post by Cloud on Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:59 pm

Rather this than real ones..phew lol!

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