Martian ‘spiders’ take over the planet’s South Pole, discovers NASA

James Marshall
July 16, 2018

The south polar region of Mars is covered by unusual landforms.

Scientists evaluated the images, stating Carbon dioxide gas expands and the mounting pressure eventually cracks through the surface, creating the design. When season changes and sunlight returns, the surface heats up and releases gas trapped beneath it. The spiders are not actually eight-legged arachnids, though. The gas then builds up under the surface and ultimately breaks through in jets that deposit a darker dust around the planet.

The result is veiny spider-like "formations" spread across the planet accompanied by dark spots formed by dust deposited around vents during the Carbon dioxide eruption.

'The loss of the sublimated carbon dioxide leaves behind these spider-like features etched into the surface'.

Martian spiders are unlike anything we see on Earth.

The seasonal geological process is unique to Mars' South Pole and not found anywhere on Earth. NASA recently shared an image from its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) that has an interesting texture that arachnophobes may have trouble looking at for too long.

The Mars Reconnaissance orbiter has discovered evidence of thin layers of water ice (dry ice) beneath the surface of roughly one-third of the planet. 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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