NASA finds evidence that it snows dry ice on Mars

// September 14th, 2012 // Astronomy and Space News

Dry ice in water produces this fogIt might not be accurately termed “a snowball’s chance in hell” but it comes close.  NASA thinks it might be snowing on Mars, just not the sort of snow we’d expect.  NASA has obtained evidence that it snows Dry Ice, the stuff we use to simulate fog in haunted houses.  That’s pretty cool given that dry ice can be used to carbonate liquids, repair dents and hail damage on cars, remove floor tile, eradicate gophers, freeze skin for wart removal, retard chemical actions, and increase the rate of plant growth.  Yeah, the carbon dioxide snow is enough to remind us that some parts of Mars look quite different than Earth.

The Journal of Geophysical Science explained:

These are the first definitive detections of carbon-dioxide snow clouds.  We firmly establish the clouds are composed of carbon dioxide — flakes of Martian air — and they are thick enough to result in snowfall accumulation at the surface.  One line of evidence for snow is that the carbon-dioxide ice particles in the clouds are large enough to fall to the ground during the lifespan of the clouds.  Another comes from observations when the instrument is pointed toward the horizon, instead of down at the surface. The infrared spectra signature of the clouds viewed from this angle is clearly carbon-dioxide ice particles and they extend to the surface. By observing this way, the Mars Climate Sounder is able to distinguish the particles in the atmosphere from the dry ice on the surface.

The snowfalls occur on the south pole of the Red Planet during the winter months.  We already had evidence of falling “water-ice” snow on the north pole. 





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