A touch of frost


The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped this view of Martian 'spiders'.


NASA / JPL-Caltech / Univ. of Arizona

Subtle variations in colour look like brush strokes as the lightly frosted Mars terrain reflects light. These variations provide a backdrop to some exotic features referred to colloquially as "spiders."

The radial channels branching out from a central depression are formed when the seasonal layer of dry ice turns to gas in the spring and erodes the surface, which is a uniquely Martian landform.

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