NASA Spots ‘Spiders’ On Mars Surface

Posted: Jul 15 2018, 11:04am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
NASA Spots ‘Spiders’ on Mars Surface
Credit: NASA

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter takes a stunning image of Martian spiders

The south polar region of Mars is covered by unusual landforms. These landforms look like spiders and grow and branch during Martian winter.

The scientific name for these spider-like features is Araneiforms and they are created when carbon dioxide turn to ice during the winter. When season changes and sunlight returns, the surface heats up and releases gas trapped beneath it. The erosion also carves multiple channels on the surface, resembling the legs and body of spiders. The spiders are typically hundreds of yards long.

“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.” NASA statement reads.”

Martian spiders are unlike anything we see on Earth. But they are an active seasonal process on Mars and continues to amaze scientists. New NASA image shows a stunning close-up view of these erosional features. The image is taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) on May 13, 2018 during winter at the South Pole of Mars. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter also reported the first detection of of channels’ cumulative growth from one Martian yeare to another. MRO's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera has been monitoring Mars spiders for years and tracking year-to-year changes in them.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir. With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.

 

 

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