NASA on Thursday has released a creepy image showing ‘spiders’ on Mars, small darks spots on the reddish landscape with tendrils one could easily perceive as tiny legs.
The marks were captured by the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on May 13, 2018 at Mars’ south pole during the planet’s winter season. The ‘spiders’ make their appearance as the season turns to spring, dotting the terrain.
In fact, the ‘spiders’ seen in the image are actually ‘araneiform terrain,’ which NASA describes as “spider-like radiating mounds that form when carbon dioxide ice below the surface heats up and releases.”
The government space agency noted that the process is not found here on Earth and is caused when carbon dioxide ice turns from a solid into a gas. The gas then builds up under the surface and ultimately breaks through in jets that deposit a darker dust around the planet.
“The loss of the sublimated carbon dioxide leaves behind these spider-like features etched into the surface,” NASA explained on its website.Follow @gorkhapost
NASA’s Parker spacecraft rockets toward sun for closest look
CAPE CANAVERAL — NASA has launched a spacecraft to the sun which will fly closer to our star than anything ever sent before. The Parker Solar Probe rocketed away from Cape Canaveral, Florida, early Sunday.
The spacecraft is on an unprecedented quest that will take it straight through the wispy edges of the corona, or outer solar atmosphere, just 3.8 million (6 million kilometers) from the sun’s surface that was visible during last August’s total solar eclipse.
It will eventually stay comfortably cool despite the extreme heat and radiation allowing scientists to vicariously explore the sun in a way never before possible.
Saturday morning’s launch attempt was foiled by last-minute technical trouble and postponed by a day.
But what better day to launch to the sun than Sunday, as NASA noted.
“Fly baby girl, fly!!” project scientist Nicola Fox of Johns Hopkins University tweeted just before lift-off. She urged it to “go touch the sun!”
— NASA (@NASA) August 12, 2018
“All I can say is, ‘Wow, here we go.’ We’re in for some learning over the next several years,” said Eugene Parker, the 91-year-old astrophysicist for whom the spacecraft is named.
It was the first time NASA named a spacecraft after someone still alive, and Parker wasn’t about to let it take off without him.
Thousands of spectators jammed the launch site in the middle of the night as well as surrounding towns, including Parker and his family.Follow @gorkhapost