NASA Image Shows Martian 'Spiders' Emerging for Spring

Mindy Sparks
July 15, 2018

NASA's MRO spacecraft has captured a landscape on planet Mars that features what look like crawling spiders.

Mars never ceases to amaze us.

"NASA shared a creepy image of Mars on Thursday, showing "'spiders' begin to emerge from the landscape" from the South Pole of Mars.

Showcased on the agency's website under the "Image of the Day" category (where all the best snapshots are displayed), the new MRO photo reveals odd "spiders" creeping across the Martian landscape. Rather, these are marks on the land called "araneiform terrain", a type of mound that appears to radiate outward with tendrils. "Wait, what?" the orbiter's famous high-resolution camera, HiRISE, tweeted on Tuesday, a few days ahead of the NASA photo release.

The image shows a carbon ice cap that enveloped the region during the winter as the sun returns in the spring. As the carbon dioxide ice under the surface warms, the gas forms but is still trapped under the planet's surface.


Much like dry ice back on Earth, the Martian ice sublimates or chances form solid to gas, with the changing temperatures.

The image, which the U.S space agency posted as part of its Image of the Day series on Friday, was taken at the South Pole of the Red Planet on May 13.

Of course, the dark marks shown in the image above aren't spiders - they're not even living creatures.

NASA said: "Over time the trapped carbon dioxide gas builds in pressure and is eventually strong enough to break through the ice as a jet that erupts dust".

"This is an active seasonal process not seen on Earth". The loss of the sublimated carbon dioxide results in the spider-like features in the surface.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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