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What are Martian “spiders” and why are they key climate signals?

What are Martian “spiders” and why are they key climate signals?

Martian “spiders” as a result of the change of seasons on the Red Planet (Europe Press)

Since 2004, the European Space Agency (ESA)'s Mars Express mission has been assembled. Facts about the red planet Which is related to the composition of the atmosphere, and drawing three-dimensional maps of its surface.

The European Space Agency issued a launch In it they explain and show new images of an ancient discovery: carbon dioxide “spiders” At the south pole of Mars. These strange formations are the result of heating Carbon dioxide ice tanks Which occurred during the Martian winter. As the sun begins to warm the region in the spring, the ice begins to turn into gas and… Apply pressure In the upper classes. The result is Geyser-like explosion Which leaves a dark residue in an area that can be covered From 45 meters to 1 kilometer wide.

This whole process creates Dark spider-shaped cracks underground In ice not lifted by explosions, it can be seen from above. The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), another European Space Agency explorer, was able to capture images that show it… In great detailWhile Mars Express showed locations more than anything else. Its presence means there is carbon dioxide underneath it waiting to be released, revealing the behavior of and Effect of temperatures At the south pole of Mars.

Between Mars Express and TGO they were able to capture signs of these “spiders” on the surface of Mars

It was first discovered years ago, but it wasn't until 2021 that experts discovered it Discover the reason for its formation. It has since been closely monitored by missions to Mars, and has now been achieved. High quality images Which detects underground fractures.

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The phenomenon It doesn't happen in the Arctic The planet, which continues to deepen the difference between the two polar peaks. Due to the characteristics of its orbit around the sun, the southern part Get more energy Coming from the star during the summer compared to the northern part during the same season.

“Spiders” spread over long distances in mountains and plateaus of enormous sizes. But most of those that can be observed are located on the outskirts of the named area “Inca city”.

It was discovered in 1972 by NASA's Mariner 9 probe and got its name thanks to the similarity of the network of canyons and ridges to… Inca ruins. They are located in such a way that they form a kind of… Almost geometric grid On the surface of Mars. It is located inside the hole Its diameter is 86 kilometersSo scientists suspect that a large meteorite impact caused the cracks throughout the Earth.

These fractures, resulting from the release of gaseous carbon dioxide, only occur at Mars' south pole, because it receives more solar energy.

Its possible origins vary from Magma Which seeps between layers of soil, or sand dunes that have turned into stone, or formations called “Travelers” Which was the product of the accumulations of materials it produces Ancient glaciers.

The landscapes that can be seen thanks to ESA space missions contain more surprising elements, such as spirals in the Earth and plateaus. Altitude is more than 1500 metres Experts believe that it consists of solid materials, resulting from erosion caused by wind, water or ice.

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“Mars Express has revealed a lot about Mars in the past two decades and the number is still counting,” they say from the European Space Agency. He continues to take pictures of the surface of MarsMapping its minerals, exploring the composition and circulation of the atmosphere, exploring beneath its crust and studying the Martian environment.

Mars Express continues to provide data on Mars two decades after its launch (ESA)

These may be tasks and those that will be implemented in the future Uncover hidden secretsThe climatic characteristics and phenomena of Mars are: Very different For any event we could witness on Earth.

These discoveries may expand knowledge about… Wide range of environments Found throughout the universe, starting with the study of the solar system.