Frost extends across the surface of a southern crater on Mars in a new image of the red planet.
winter in Mars It can be extremely cold, with temperatures near the poles dropping to minus 195 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 125 degrees Celsius). In turn, a layer of carbon dioxide frost, or dry ice, may form on the surface of some regions of the planet.
By the middle of the four-month winter, frost can spread from the poles down to the planets’ mid-latitudes, or about 50 degrees of latitude, as it begins to melt under the warm sun. This equates to about the latitude of southern Canada on Earth, according to a NASA statement.
But orbiters can also detect small patches of frost on pole-facing slopes near the equator. These locations experience cooler temperatures because they receive less sunlight, which means the carbon dioxide frost doesn’t melt.
The last HiRISE image of Mars’ southern hemisphere was taken, in the middle of winter. The image captures a crater located near 37 degrees south latitude.
South facing slope from the crater of the volcano It is sprinkled with a brilliant frost of carbon dioxide, which appears blue in the enhanced color image from orbit. The image revealed dry ice in and around the canyons on the slope, which have been carved out by debris flows that occur during the warmer months.
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