Bizarre 'polygons' are cracking through the surface of Mars
A recent photograph from the orbiting High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HIRISE) camera reveals that it is springtime on Mars and the strange polygons are in bloom.
The image, which was taken on March 30, 2022, shows a patchwork of white zig-zags tearing through the Martian soil at high latitudes
Martian soil at high latitudes, with sporadic sprays of black and blue mist fanning out between them.
According to researchers at the University of Arizona, which oversees the HIRISE project, the zigzags and colourful sprays are defining characteristics of Martian spring
when underground ice reservoirs butt up against the parched Martian surface (June 20).
In the spring, as surface ice sublimates, or changes from a solid to a gas, the margins of these polygons become fractured and ragged
According to the researchers, when this change takes place, vents of dry ice shoot out of the Martian surface
leaving dark, fan-shaped deposits of particles scattered throughout the ground
Depending on the wind, a single ice vent can open and close numerous times, spitting particles in various directions across the Martian surface.
Because of this, certain regions exhibit a variety of light and dark streaks branching from a single vent
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