Mars’ spiral ice caps finally explained

June 18, 2010 at 9:55 am

by Milky Way Maid

  NASA has finally explained the puzzling fact of spiral formations in the polar ice caps of the planet Mars. These swirls were first discovered when Mariner 9 relayed images of the Martian poles almost 40 years ago. Now data from the Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter has been analyzed to reveal that it was most likely the wind that powered these designs.

According to the NASA news release:

 June 16, 2010:  Almost 40 years ago, NASA’s Mariner 9 spacecraft relayed to Earth the first video images of Mars’ northern polar ice cap, revealing a strange pattern of spiral swirls that has puzzled scientists ever since. Using new data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), researchers have finally uncovered the secrets of the troughs that snake through the ice cap like a spiraled maze.

Jack Holt of the University of Texas and his graduate student Isaac Smith used radar data from MRO’s Shallow Subsurface Radar to crack the case. Examining the details of this new data set has laid open the ice cap’s internal structure, revealing clues to the massive ice troughs’ formation.

Apparently, the wind did it.

"Radar cross sections reveal layers of ice deposited throughout the ice cap’s history," says Holt. "The size and shape of those layers indicate that wind has played a key role in creating and shaping the spiral troughs."

You can read the whole article at http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/16jun_martianspirals/

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Entry filed under: Astronomy Notes on the Web. Tags: , , .

The Zodiac Signs and the Twelve Tribes of Israel; also the Babylonian Zodiac Your Milky Way Horoscope June 27-July 3, 2010


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