A newly released image of Mars shows a red and white icy dance floor on the planet’s southernmost tip, a Spaces report.
Although snow may evoke the feeling of a “winter wonderland” on the Red Planet, it has already been captured by the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft. Ice, Mars is shrinking.
And just six days before most of the Earth celebrates the New Year, on December 26, the Red Planet will begin a new year, which will last 687 Earth days.
And the Earth has four seasons, which are winter, spring, summer and autumn, and as is the case on Earth, the winter of the Red Planet is cold and hot in the summer, although the winter is much colder than our climate, the temperature of Mars drops to 76 degrees Fahrenheit. (below 60°C).
Christmas time is also special for Mars Express, and Christmas Day 2022 is the 19th anniversary of the spacecraft’s arrival to Mars.
Undoubtedly, the most interesting features in the newly released image are the two giant craters, associated with alternating ice and so-called “polar layered sediments”. These deposits can also be seen in the mountains between the two craters.
When the ice dries, higher elevations appear devoid of snow, and in this photo a black sand dune runs through some of the snow.
The dune fields also appear as sharp ridges that move in the direction of the prevailing winds and in keeping with the shape of the main features.
Scientists believe that the dust that fills these hills is black because it comes from buried material from volcanoes that erupted in the early history of Mars and eventually met strong Martian winds that carried it effortlessly across the surface of the Red Planet.
Some of the dark spots in the image represent this dust and the action of jets that blow on the surface of the ice when the carbon dioxide ice turns directly into a gas, a process called sublimation. in dark places on earth.
However, these are not the only things in the image that come from sublimation. The polar region contains many large, unstable features formed by sublimation of ice. This can be seen in the upper left corner of the image.
Observing these objects in orbit means scientists can see how things around Mars are changing the shape of the polar regions.