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Tuesday, August 22, 2006



Ice geysers

An artist's impression shows the geysers erupting through ice
An artist's impression shows the geysers erupting through ice
Credit: BBC
By looking at over 200 visible and infared images from the Thermal Emission Imaging System (Themis) camera orbiting Mars jets of carbon dioxide erupt through ice at the planet's south pole. The geyser debris, sand and dust, leaves dark, fan-like markings and spider-shaped features on the ice cap.

"If you were there, you'd be standing on a slab of carbon dioxide ice," said Dr. Phil Christensen. "All around you, roaring jets of CO2 gas are throwing sand and dust a couple of hundred feet into the air." He said the process was "unlike anything that occurs on Earth". The process is thought to be sunlight heating the CO2 and turning it into a high pressure gas.

(More info: BBC


- posted by Jim @ 11:58 EST