Life on Mars

Life on Mars

Astronomy: Scientists have explained the mystery behind spiders sprawling across the Martian Surface. The study provides the first physical evidence supporting that these spiders are a by-product of shifting seasons of Mars in spring, formed due to the sublimation of Carbon dioxide(CO2), which is found only in the southern polar regions of the red planet.

The Mars atmosphere mostly contain dry ice, a solid form of CO2 gas. As the temperature drops in winter this gas deposits on the Mars surface, frost and ice. As the temperature rises, it directly turns from solid to gas(CO2) through a process known as sublimation.

A new study has explained the mystery behind spiders-like systems of branching in Mars. These spiders, which appear to be dark appearance is a mystery to the scientists that they are not found on Earth atmosphere. The researchers from Trinity College in Dublin, in their research paper published in the journal “Scientific Reports”, wrote that the spiders referred to as ‘Araneiforms’ in Mars can be carved by the direct conversion of dry ice from solid to gas.

The team of scientists from Trinity College, Durham University and the Open University had carried out a series of experiments recreating the conditions on the red planet to investigate if the similar patterns would be formed by the process of sublimation.

Dr Lauren McKeown, who led the study said they presents the first set of empirical evidence “for a surface process on red planet that is thought to modify the polar landscape on Mars.” She adds the experiments show that these Spider patterns can be “carved by the direct conversion of dry ice from solid to gas.

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