Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Starburst spider dust deposits signal Martian spring


Spring is coming to Mars too, and as the carbon dioxide ice caps melt from above and below, it sublimates directly to gas.

In pictures released by the UA's HiRISE camera team today, it show's starburst spider-shaped deposits "believed to be formed by gas flowing beneath the seasonal ice to openings where the gas escapes, carrying along dust from the surface below. The dust falls to the surface of the ice in fan-shaped deposits." [right, Starburst Spider (ESP_011842_0980). Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona]

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