Martian Oddness

Mars is a really weird planet. The more I learn about it, the stranger I think that it is. Check this recent pic from the planet.

What are those things that look rather like primitive plants, you might ask? Well, Phil Plait has an explanation.

In the Martian winter, carbon dioxide freezes out of the air (and you thought it was cold where you are). In the summer, that CO2 sublimates; that is, turns directly from a solid to a gas. When that happens the sand gets disturbed, and falls down the slopes in little channels, which spreads out when it hits the bottom. But this disturbs the red dust, too, which flows with the sand. When it’s all done, you get those feathery tendrils. Note that at the tendril tips, you see blotches of red; that’s probably from the lighter dust billowing a bit before settling down.

What a strange, delightful planet! The sooner we get there and actually explore the damn place, the better off we’ll be.


One Response to “Martian Oddness”

  1. pied type Says:

    Fascinating! Awesome! Etc. Wow. Thanks for sharing this.

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