European Space Agency captures mysterious spider patterns on Mars

“Spiders” form when the spring sun beats down on layers of carbon dioxide deposited during the dark winter months. Photo: ESA

New images from two European Space Agency (ESA) probes, Mars Express and the Trace Gas Orbiter, show curious patterns on Mars in incredible detail.

By: Excelsior

These are arachnid formations clustered around the planet's south pole, known as “Mars spiders” because of their unique, arachnid-like shape.

Their scientific name is “areniformes,” which means “spider-shaped” in Latin, and are formed when spring sunlight falls on layers of frozen carbon dioxide (CO2) on the Martian surface.

Sunlight turns the CO2 ice at the bottom of the solid layer into a gas, which then explodes upward through the overlapping ice sheets.

The ejected gases break up the dark, dusty, one-meter-thick layers of ice that fall and settle on the surface, forming dark spider-shaped spots 45 m to 1 km wide. Images from space probes.

Click to read more Here.

See also  The US has announced plans to send an international astronaut to the moon

Misty Tate

"Freelance twitter advocate. Hardcore food nerd. Avid writer. Infuriatingly humble problem solver."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top