Have you ever wondered how Mars look like in winter? Fall and winter temperatures bring changes to Mars as the carbon dioxide atmosphere turns to dry ice frost that clings to the surface. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter used its powerful cameras capture^d detailed pictures of wintry scenes on the Red Planet.
A Winter Wonderland on Mars. via NASA
Ribbony Layers at the North Pole. Layers of dusty water ice deposits at the Martian North Pole are several miles thick.. via NASA
Sand on Ice: Ice-covered dunes crack in warmer springtime temperatures and allow sand beneath to blow into fan-shaped deposits on top of the ice. When the ice cracks at the crest of a dune, the sand sometimes slides down, leaving dark traces in the dune walls. via NASA
Frost-Slickened Slopes: Undulating dunes in the Southern hemisphere’s Aonia Terra Frost was just starting to accumulate on south-facing slopes when this late-fall picture was taken. via NASA
Summer Ice at the South Pole: It stays cold enough to maintain permanent year-round ice near Mars’ South Pole. via NASA
In the colder temperatures of late fall, carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere condenses into ice and settles on the Martian surface for a long winter’s nap. via NASA
The triangular spots that look like lines of pine trees are just some of the complex patterns created when winter turns to spring, and Mars’ carbon dioxide frost begins to vaporize and reveal the ground below. via NASA
Frosted crescent-shaped dunes in the Martian North Pole are dotted with bare patches of sand where warming springtime temperatures have vaporized the frost. via NASA
And, yes, there is snow on Planet Mars!