Bizarre 'polygons' are cracking through the surface of Mars

Image Credit:newsbetter

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

Image Credit:space

 when underground ice reservoirs butt up against the parched Martian surface (June 20).

Image Credit:livescience

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

Image Credit:newzbetter

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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