Science

Troughs On Mars Might Grow To Become Spiders

By Rodney Rafols , Dec 22, 2016 04:01 AM EST
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Mars is being studied thoroughly by scientists. As manned missions to Mars are being planned, there is much interest on it in order to determine how man would be able to adjust to the planet. One feature of Mars is being known, as troughs on Mars might grow to become spiders.

The troughs are found in the south polar region of Mars. These troughs are said to later on become the spider feature found in the region. These troughs are believe to become the spiders later on due to a process of thawing carbon dioxide. This process then form into the spider feature.

The spiders have different sizes. Some are only about a few yards while others can grow for hundreds of yards. The growth of these troughs into spiders have been observed first by researchers using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The troughs take time to grow, having its growth observed every year, as described by Ganna Portyankina from the University of Colorado Boulder. The spiders are on sand dunes, so it is not known yet if they would be permanent or would disappear later on if ever the sand shifts.

Erosion plays a part in creating the spiders, according to NASA. To form the spiders, it would take thousands of years for a trough to form into a fully grown spider. Mars has a longer year, which would be the equivalent of around 1.9 years here on Earth.

Candice Hansen from the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson and co-author of the study has said the spiders are unique on Mars and has not been found anywhere else. That is because carbon dioxide ice does not occur naturally on Earth. On Mars though there are carbon dioxide ice sheets that cover areas, and this includes the area where the spiders form, as Phys Org reports.

The troughs appear to be unique as well on Mars' southern region. While the same troughs also form in the northern region of Mars, they do not last long and would soon be filled with sand. The southern troughs though have lasted long enough, with some already lasting for three years since they have been observed. Branching patterns have been seen from these troughs, much like what have been seen in the spiders.

The unique feature of Mars will likely stay, as it requires ground that is soft enough for it to form, yet not too soft that it would soon be covered up. This unique feature would be studied further, as troughs on Mars might grow to become spiders. As attention is now on Mars, people are looking at Trump and now the Mars missions would be under him.

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