NASA Captures Images Of Dry Ice Forming On Mars

Every winter, a layer of carbon dioxide frost (dry ice) forms on the surface of Mars. At its maximum range in midwinter, the frost stretches from the poles to the mid-latitudes, until it becomes too warm to last when the sun becomes full.

The places where this dry ice occurs on Mars is about 50 degrees latitude, similar to the latitude of southern Canada on Earth.

This photo of the crater on Mars near 37 degrees south latitude was taken in the middle of winter in Mars’ southern hemisphere.

Sheets of shimmering cream cover the south-facing hillside, taking on a bluish tinge in this enhanced color photo. The dry ice that formed appeared in and around many ravines on the slopes.

However, closer to the equator, small patches of dry ice are also found on polar-facing slopes, which are cooler because they receive less sunlight. This image, taken during winter in Mars’ southern hemisphere, shows a crater near 37 degrees south latitude.

There are patches of bright frost on the south-facing slopes, the color being an enhanced shade of blue. This frost occurs in and around many of the ravines on the slope, and in other images, has caused flow in the ravines.

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