Mars’ Underground Atmosphere

Scientists have spotted an underground reservoir near Mars’ south pole the size of Lake Superior… except that this lake is filled with frozen carbon dioxide – a.k.a. “dry ice”! A recent report by scientists at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, CO reveals variations in Mars’ axial tilt can change how much carbon dioxide gets…

Icy Spiders

  Near Mars’ polar regions, spidery cracks and crevasses in the surface hold the last remnants of the winter season’s carbon dioxide frost – a.k.a. “dry ice” – which will eventually evaporate into the Martian atmosphere as CO2 gas. This process is seen on Earth only in specialized manmade situations such as when used as…

Permanent Freeze

  No it’s not Pan’s labyrinth, it’s a HiRISE image of a portion of Mars’ south polar ice cap showing frozen mesas made of layers of carbon dioxide ice. During the winter months on Mars – which is considerably colder than Earth – carbon dioxide is deposited as frost in the upper latitudes and evaporates…

Avalanche!

It’s always exciting to catch geologic surface events in action on Mars, reminding us that the red planet isn’t just a museum piece but a very active place! The image above is from the HiRISE camera on the Reconnaissance Orbiter showing dust clouds billowing up nearly 200 feet at the base of an ice cliff…