(Mirror Daily, United States) – A recent photo of the surface of Mars has taken over the internet, as it shows traces of carbon dioxide and ice in an area which seems to be the south pole of the planet. This is one of the rarest images captured of this mysterious Mars region, and strengthens the idea that the planet could have once hosted life.
There are traces of water and oxygen on Mars
So far, there have been several exploration missions to Mars, which found traces of water, hydrogen, carbon, sulfur, and even oxygen on the planet. All of these indicate that life might have been possible on the Red Planet. Besides, these missions also disclosed different formations on the Martian surface, such as deserts, mountains, or even ice caps.
Thirteen years ago, a polar ice cap has been discovered, but only recently scientists have started picking up more information on it. On February 25th, Mars Express, an exploration spacecraft sent by the European Space Agency, captured this photo of a white dot on the surface of the planet. Since then, the image started circulating on the internet and gave rise to a lot of suppositions.
A clear image of Mars’ south pole
The spacecraft took this photo 186 miles from Mars, and captured an incredibly clear image of the Polar Region of the planet. It shows a rare display of a polar ice cap with carbon dioxide along the Mars highland area and the Hellas Basin.
This ice cap is part of Planum Australe, the south ice region made up of a 1.9-mile thick layer of frozen water and carbon dioxide. The conditions were perfect for the spacecraft to capture a clear image of the area, and also collect some additional information.
Scientists were able to find out this ice cap was made up of 85 percent dry ice and 15 percent water ice. They are currently analyzing the Mars Express images, and will reveal any other information they can collect from them.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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