NASA spacecraft captures stunning ice flow on Mars


WASHINGTON: In a striking revelation, Mars, a celestial body that was once abundant with water, stood a thousand times drier than the driest expanse on Earth’s deserts. Yet, traces of ice still move across its surface, defying its aridity.

Media reports said that on National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) special satellite the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is dedicated to study the mysterious planet, there is powerful instrument called the High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE).

HiRISE camera

Regarded as the “most powerful camera ever dispatched to another world” by the HiRISE team, the device adeptly captured detailed images of the Red Planet’s surface.

As per the reports, the planetary scientists recently used HiRISE to snap an image of a glacier-like “icy flow,” taken from 184 miles above Mars’ surface. It was discovered that the frozen ice doesn’t only exist in the frigid Martian poles.

Meanwhile, a distinguished Mars geologist and co-investigator of the HiRISE project Mike Mellon explained the widespread presence of glacier-like geological formations on the planet. He said that while most surface ice was situated at the polar caps, non-polar regions of Mars also showcased a wealth of gradual and flowing patterns created by the viscous movements.

The following image has been captured at a latitude of 37 degrees, situated in a “temperate” region of Mars, as reported by the media.

Furthermore, Mellon said that the noticeable ice motion occurred at a deliberate pace forming within valleys and craters where rocky debris was prevalent.

“As ice flows downhill, rock and soil are plucked from the surrounding landscape and ferried along the flowing ice surface and within the icy subsurface. While this process is gradual, taking perhaps thousands of years or longer, it creates a network of linear patterns that reveal the history of ice flow,” he added.

You May Also Like