Spider Starburst Crops Up On Mars: NASA Explains What These Strange Markings Are

Spiders on Mars

NASA has revealed a close-up image of strange land formations on the Martian surface captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera.

The image shows deep troughs on the Red Planet’s surface that have formed a pattern that resembles a starburst. Scientists have since dubbed the formations as “spiders”.

According to NASA, the MRO took the photograph of the spiders at 4:56 p.m. following the local Martian time. The surface of the planet was visible courtesy of light from the sun, which was 12 degrees above Mar’s horizon at the time.

Experts said the spiders were formed as the Red Planet goes into its version of spring season, during which ice formed by carbon dioxide typically erodes to reveal beautiful Martian terrains.

 “The troughs are believed to be formed by gas flowing beneath the seasonal ice to openings where the gas escapes, carrying along dust from the surface below,” the American space agency said. “The dust falls to the surface of the ice in fan-shaped deposits.”

Since arriving at the Martian system in 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has provided NASA scientists with a more in-depth look at Mar’s landscape, which is believed to have undergone several transformations over the past 3 billion years.

Read More: Techtimes

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