Mars has winter, as the current analysis and photographic evidence revealed, it seems that the snow is falling on Red Planet. This planet it’s generally known as ice cold and also wrapped with plenty of clouds, however they are incredibly low about 1 to 2 km above the ground, and that is the reason why this snow it isn’t similar to the snow we are accustomed to. Snow on Mars consists of explosions on the Mars soil referred to as “ice microbursts”.

An overhead view of the north pole of Mars shown in true color. image:

The planet’s atmosphere is of lower pressure and also extremely dry and being just a couple of micrometers in proportions, ice particles falling from the clouds would drop at about merely a centimeter a second. This enables a sufficient amount of time for them to evaporate before hitting the soil. Overnight frost observed on Mars are completely explained by water-ice particles falling quickly due to being created for the time being larger and heavier by an exterior layer of iced carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Reddish and frosty planet possess an extremely thin atmosphere, as a consequence, her thermal insulation is very minimal. Overnight, on the surface, Mars can drop to temperatures under -73°C (-100°F) on the equator also -125°C (-195°F) at the poles.

In their research, the scientists believe that this immediate snow explosion mechanism must have impacted “Mars’ water cycle, past and present” despite the original thought that “snow precipitation develops solely by the gradual sedimentation of individual particles,”

Researchers have calculated that carbon dioxide snow particles on Mars are roughly the size of a human red blood cell. Martian snow is depicted in this artist’s rendering as a mist or fog that eventually settles to the surface. Credit: NASA, Christine Daniloff/MIT News

A group of eminent researchers, led by Aymeric Spiga – a planetary scientist at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris is analyzing the data retrieved by NASA’s Curiosity rover in hope to understand how the ice at the equator, while it receives enough energy from the sun, evaporates and develop clouds and whether or not those clouds are the cause of snowstorms?

CNRS’s atmospheric models indicate that the heaviest temperature drops so low that clouds of iced water crystallize at very fast speed while unstable air currents trigger iced crystals to fall uncontrollably. Although not all manage to reach the soil the majority of them are turning into gas during the fall as a result of unstable atmospheric conditions.

In the latest statement Spiga mentioned :

“Snowstorms could be occurring above Curiosity or other rovers – undetected! Snow precipitation has been spotted solely by the Mars Phoenix lander at night, using LIDAR laser        sounding.”

However, the ice caps on Mars also deserve special attention from the team of scientists, because it is astonishing finding that the same contain not only iced water but also frozen carbon dioxide. Moreover, their ice volume exceeds the size of the ice on Greenland which in turn prompts the question whether the overnight snowstorms are made from carbon dioxide too?

The answer of this question as team of Spiga said:

    “You might. The convection in CO2 snowstorms would be triggered by the energy released when CO2 vapor condenses into CO2 ice particles; kind of like thunderstorms on Earth with the condensation of water.”


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