Spring will start a festival of life on our planet as plants become green again and creatures begin to search for a mate. Such activity is not present on Mars, but spring is still able to bring a few beautiful changes. With the help of high-power cameras, we can take a closer look at the planet and admire fascinating phenomena.
During the winter the polar regions of Mars and its desert landscapes are covered by a thin layer of ice. The ice is carbon dioxide ice instead of regular ice and this important. When spring arrives, the higher temperatures will force the CO2 ice to sublimate, jumping to a vaporous state without the need to become liquid in the first place.
Sublimation takes place from the base to the top in the case of the Martian dune fields. The phenomenon is influenced by the fact that the ice grains will become transparent, allowing the sun to melt them from the bottom. Gas is also released and trapped between ice and sand, and it starts to generate pressure.
New Stunning Photos Revealed Mars And Its Desert Landscapes
When the weather becomes hot enough, the ice will crack, violently releasing the gas. As the gas escapes, it will carry sand with it, producing beautiful images. A few pictures of the dunes were recorded with the help of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter operated by the ESA and RosCosmos.
The orbiter carries a selection of remarkable scientific tools among which we can count the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (also known as CaSSIS). CaSSIS can generate high-fidelity digital elevation models of the Martian surface.
Within the images, a variety of dunes can be identified. Some of them are barchans dunes, named after the barchanoid ridges which contribute to their formation. By observing the Barchan dunes, researchers can deduce the direction of the dominant wind. More details about the dunes will be discussed during an upcoming scientific congress.