Tag Archives: spiders

HiRISE: Wide, branching channels

Southern spring on Mars brings sublimation of the seasonal dry ice polar cap. Gas trapped under the seasonal ice sheet carves channels on its way to escaping to the atmosphere. At this site, the channels are wider than we see … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Spiders on mounds

This terrain looks like lumpy sediment on top of patterned ground. The lumpy sediment is likely just loosely consolidated because it is covered with spidery channels. This landform is uniquely Martian, formed in the spring as seasonal dry ice turns … Continue reading

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Small troughs may grow from gas-jet ‘spiders’

Erosion-carved troughs that grow and branch during multiple Martian years may be infant versions of larger features known as Martian “spiders,” which are radially patterned channels found only in the south polar region of Mars. Researchers using NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Painting with frost

Subtle variations in color look like brush strokes as the lightly frosted terrain reflects light. These variations provide a backdrop to some exotic features referred to colloquially as “spiders.” The radial channels branching out from a central depression are formed … Continue reading

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Hunting ice cap ‘spiders’ through citizen science

Ten thousand volunteers viewing images of Martian south polar regions have helped identify targets for closer inspection, yielding new insights about seasonal slabs of frozen carbon dioxide and erosional features known as “spiders.” From the comfort of home, the volunteers … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Spiders

Not so itsy, not so bitsy: “Spider formations” are made by the process of sublimation, when a solid (carbon dioxide ice) transforms directly into a gas. Beautiful Mars series.

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HiRISE: On the evolution of spiders

On the evolution of spiders. “Spider” is the informal name we give to these features, which are caused by sublimation, when a solid transforms directly into a gas. Here, it’s carbon dioxide gas that sublimates and creates these patterns. Beautiful … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Icy wonderland

Although the season is late spring, carbon dioxide ice still covers much of the surface at this high latitude site. It is still a chilly –128 degrees Celsius [–198° F]. The weak boundaries of the polygonal structure of the surface … Continue reading

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HiRISE: Amazing spider land

The amazing spider land! Beautiful Mars series.

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HiRISE: Fans in non-cryptic terrain

Fans in non-cryptic terrain: Sublimation at work! (Sublimation is the process of going from a solid directly to a gaseous form, so the darker material under the ground is exposed rapidly onto the lighter surface). Beautiful Mars series.

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Making polar spiders in the lab

The formation of “spiders” during Martian south polar spring is one of the most spectacular natural phenomena on the Red Planet. Briefly, what happens is that every winter carbon dioxide ice forms a translucent layer above the sandy ground. Then … Continue reading

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