Slideshow

Mars satellite captures an avalanche of activity

  • While activity on the surface isn’t all that exciting, the avalanche isn’t the only interesting event captured by the satellite. This shot shows what is known as Dust Devils which are similar to tornados. They are caused by warm air rising from the planet’s surface and hitting the atmosphere which can grow to gargantuan heights; up to 9km. They are essential to maintaining Mars’ red sky and helping clean the planet after dust storms.

  • Another feature of Martian Geography is the southern hemisphere of the planet, which gets covered in a layer of carbon-dioxide ice each spring. This shot shows sections of clean ice as well as those peppered by dust smears. The smears are created when the lower levels of ice melt. This creates gas which evaporates through cracks, dragging dust from below along with it.

  • A low flying view of Candor Chasm, one of Mars’ landmarks

  • Captured on 19th of February 2008 by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, this incredible photo shows not just one or two but four avalanches occurring on the surface of the red planet. Comprised of dust, grains of ice and possibly larger chunks these avalanches throw massive clouds into the air while the debris falls from the cliff-face into the valley below. This satellite is designed to help track geographical changes on the planet’s surface; however, it seems little has changed over the last few million years. Events like these are rare and are valuable pieces of the puzzle for scientists.

  • Another view of Candor Chasm

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