December 13th, 2007

Mars

Astro-image of the day: The Spiders on Mars

Turns out that Ziggy had it right (sort of). Check out these amazing Martian features:

Click the image to see the story.

Sorry, these aren't huge Martians; they're surface features created by carbon-dioxide ice turning to gas below the surface. Unlike water-ice, when warmed by Spring sunshine on the dust above, C02 ice goes straight to gas, forming these amazing patterns as it bursts through the soil. The official NASA designation for these is "cryptic features," but popular names include "lace, lizard-skin, fans, and spiders."

Best,
Chris