Google+ Mars Travel: Mars Photo of the Day - Mar 20 2012

Mars Photo of the Day - Mar 20 2012

Today's Image of Mars shows frost in Utopia Planitia, as taken by the southwest facing Viking 2 lander on May 18 1979, approximately one Martian year (687 days) after the lander first imaged frost at the same spot. This thin layer of water-ice frost on Mars is thought to be only a couple thousandth's of a centimeter thick.

But how did the water-ice frost form? Scientists believe that dust particles throughout the Martian atmosphere pick up water particles , then when it gets cold enough for carbon dioxide to solidify some of it attaches to the dust and falls onto the surface.


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