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Snowing on Mars
Thursday December 13, 2012 - Email this article to a friend

The latest published observations from the Mars Orbiter spacecraft point to what NASA are describing as dry ice snowfall on the red planet.

Here at PlanetSKI we don't reckon anyone is going to be skiing or snowboarding on Mars anytime soon - but in theory they might be able to.

The latest data from NASA has given scientists the clearest evidence yet of carbon dioxide snowfalls on Mars.

"This reveals the only known example of carbon dioxide snow falling anywhere in our solar system," said a NASA report published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Frozen carbon dioxide, better known as "dry ice," requires temperatures of about minus 193 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 125 Celsius), which is much colder than needed for freezing water.

"These are the first definitive detections of carbon dioxide snow clouds," said the report's lead author Paul Hayne of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

"We firmly establish the clouds are composed of carbon dioxide, flakes of Martian air, and they are thick enough to result in snowfall accumulation at the surface."

We have reported on PlanetSKI in the past of the skiing potential of the planet Kepler 22b and one of Saturn's moons - see here.

For the spirit of the mountains

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