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Some Areas On Mars In The Mid-Latitudes May Provide Evidence Of Ice

First Posted: Mar 23, 2017 04:41 AM EDT
Mantled Terrain In The Southern Mid-Latitudes
NASA's Mars Recoinnassance Orbiter spotted ice on the mid-latitudes of Mars, yet the source of ice is uncertain.
(Photo : UAHiRISE/YouTube screenshot)

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured an image of the surface of Mars showing its slopes with ice. NASA stated that these rocks and sediments surrounding the slopes are either ice-rich now or in the past. On the other hand, the source of the ice is uncertain.

NASA further explained that these might be dropped from the atmosphere at the periods of high obliquity referred to as axial tilt. These are also usual around Mars' mid-latitudes near the gullies, which are small ravines that have been washed away by water. The areas are also surrounded by high and rocky ridges known as moraines. These shaped in glacial regions that appear as icy piles of soil and rock, according to Space.com.

Meanwhile, it is also reported that the mysterious water-like streaks on the planet Mars that are visible seasonally may not be water after all. This is according to a new study printed in the journal Nature Geoscience. These water-like streaks are sand avalanches that are triggered by sunlight. The study was led by researchers from France and the Slovak Republic, according to Phys.org.

The water-like streaks that resembled flowing water were detected in 2011. These changes seasonally and occurred during warmer times.

In the new study, the scientists indicate that the water-like streaks happened due to the heat during certain times of the year on the Red Planet. The streaks instigate the top layer of dirt and sand to warm up. On the other hand, the particles underneath are cooled. The varying temperatures trigger some changes in pressure to the small amount of gas confined between the sand particles, which make the gas to move upwards. Meanwhile, the sand particles slip downhill causing tiny avalanches.

There will be more tests to be conducted to prove the theory as true. On the other hand, the study explains correctly the occurrence of these water-like streaks on the surfaces of Mars. 

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