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Mysterious markings appear on Mars as Spring blooms over Red Planet

Researchers from the University of Arizona, which manages the spacecraft in Martian orbit, said that the polygons are the result of ice that is frozen in the soil and is splitting it apart.

June 30, 2022 / 02:12 PM IST
The photograph shows a network of polygonal patchworks of white zig-zags on the surface of Mars with occasional sprays of black and blue mist fanning out between them. (Image credit: NASA)

The photograph shows a network of polygonal patchworks of white zig-zags on the surface of Mars with occasional sprays of black and blue mist fanning out between them. (Image credit: NASA)

It's in Mars and a new image captured by the High-Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) camera onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a mysterious phenomenon taking place on the Red Planet.

The photograph shows a network of polygonal patchworks of white zig-zags on the surface of Mars with occasional sprays of black and blue mist fanning out between them.

Researchers from the University of Arizona, which manages the spacecraft in Martian orbit, said that the polygons are the result of ice that is frozen in the soil and is splitting it apart. They added that the edges of these polygons crack in Spring as surface ice transforms into gas.

When this transformation occurs, vents of dry ice spray out of the Martian surface, leaving dark, fan-shaped deposits of particles spread across the ground, the researchers told Live Science. Where dark particles sink back into the dry ice on the surface, bright whitish-blue streaks appear on the ground.

"Both water and dry ice have a major role in sculpting Mars's surface at high latitudes," the researchers stated. "Water ice frozen in the soil splits the ground into polygons."

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Read more: Hey Martian, Say Cheese | Chinese spacecraft clicks images of Red Planet

Mars has four seasons and Spring lasts for over 190 days in the Red Planet, twice as that of Earth.

The HiRISE camera is aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which started functioning in 2006. Flying between about 250 to 216 kilometers over the planet, the orbiter has captured a bunch of bizarre images over the past few years, Live Science reported.

Read more: ‘Human trash’: How a piece of foil ended up on Mars
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first published: Jun 30, 2022 02:08 pm
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