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NASA Reveals 'Coolest' Worms or Alien-like Landscape on the Frozen South Pole of Mars

Dec 14, 2016 08:35 AM EST
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Although there are Eath-like formations on the red planet, Mars is also prolific in terms of unusual objects on its surface. One of the recent are the alien-like structures that look like worms when viewed on photographs taken by NASA.

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission (Maven) using its UltraViolet Spectrograph (Iuvs) captured the stunning imagery of the alien-like landscape on the frozen South Pole of Mars. The images strike the interest of the public since these formations are not typically found on Earth unlike the canyons and craters that are found on both Mars and the Earth.

The carbon dioxide polar cap, for example, is something that is alien to Earth. Interestingly, the carbon dioxide (dry ice) layer increases and expands creating a more distinct worm-like feature. This happens due to the cool temperature on the South Pole.

In order to produce dry ice, Mars' South Pole reaches -200 Fahrenheit (-130 Celsius), according to a report. It has already been established that the red planet has its own climate and season as observed by NASA's landers and orbiters that are currently investigating the planet. NASA calls the image of the worm-like structure as the "coolest" landscape on Mars.

With MAVEN's innovative UltraViolet Spectograph, scientists are provided with materials to further understand how the climate changes on Mars. "Maven obtained hundreds of such images in recent months, giving some of the best high-resolution ultraviolet coverage of Mars ever obtained,' Nick Schneider of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder said in a statement.

The recent findings will be presented during the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences. MAVEN's ultraviolet images of the alien-like formations on the surface of Mars are not only some visual aid for the scientists. With the data collected by MAVEN, scientists were able to study how ozone amounts vary on Mars and how clouds form on top of volcanoes.


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