Polar explosions: Carbon dioxide geysers on Mars

James Lewis, fellow PhD student at Imperial College, wrote something about exploding geezers..

Fourth rock from the Sun

Images sent back from the surface of Mars can make the planet look like the hot dry deserts of Earth. However, in reality Mars is incredibly cold. The average surface temperature is 210 kelvin (-63 °C or -82 °F) and the minimum temperature is 130 K (-143 °C or -226 °F). While many of the processes and landscapes we see on the planet have equivalents on Earth this extreme cold means that Mars also has some bizarre features that we have no direct comparison for. Dark spots and strange spider like channel networks are seen to form predominantly in the southern polar region of Mars year after year. They have been interpreted as the result of jets of carbon dioxide erupting out of the winter ice sheets as they start to defrost during the Martian spring. Such a dynamic and violent process is not something you would initially expect from…

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About protohedgehog

Palaeontologist, just completed a PhD at Imperial College environmental drivers of biodiversity and extinction through geological time. Passionate about science communication and opening up the research process. Tweets vigorously as @protohedgehog. Freelance science writer and consultant, and author of kids book Excavate Dinosaurs.

1 thought on “Polar explosions: Carbon dioxide geysers on Mars

  1. Odds of seeing something like this in the background of the next Star [Trek / Wars] movie?
    Actually, maybe not that bad – it’s the sort of thing that SFX and CGI people might put i nthe shot for other SFX / CGI people. Under the counter science.

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