NASA has published a Martian weather report that includes images of the ice terrain of the Red Planet.
Despite not being associated with snowy landscapes, winter is very much a part of Mars, according to researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Sylvain Piquex, a Mars scientist, says that many people dream about a winter wonderland on Earth at this time of year.
But did you know that Mars, our nearest solar system neighbor, also has snow, ice, and a true winter?
The frosted dunes may be seen in the following image, which was captured by NASA’s HiRISE equipment. The photo was taken at a time when the Sun was only a few degrees above the horizon, just before the winter solstice on the Red Planet.
“Mars is a very dry place, but if you go to the right location, you will find water and ice, just like we have on Earth. But also, C02 ice or dry ice,” says Piquex.
The Mars Viking lander saw frost developing on the ground far from the poles in the 1970s.
“So we know that the frost similar to what we have on Earth, forms in those landscapes on Mars. That’s cool,” says Piquex.
“Mars Odyssey also taught us that there are two types of frost on Earth. Many more places where Vikings saw water frost can be witnessed by us. moreover, C02 frost does not exist on Earth.
“Where you will discover C02 ice, it is quite cold, about minus 190 degrees Fahrenheit. None of the CO2 ice melts. Instead, it directly transforms back from solid to gas in the atmosphere. As a result, highly distinctive surface features develop.
“No region of Mars gets more than a few feet of snow, most of which falls over extremely flat areas,” NASA adds. “Cold as it is, don’t expect snow drifts worthy of the Rocky Mountains.”