The case of the Martian boulder piles : What organized these boulders into neatly-spaced lumps? A similar process back in the Arctic on Earth could help solve this mystery on Mars. Investigate the details…
This image was originally meant to track the movement of sand dunes near the North Pole of Mars, but what’s on the ground in between the dunes is just as interesting! The ground has parallel dark and light stripes from upper left to lower right in this area. In the dark stripes, we see piles of boulders at regular intervals.
In the Arctic back on Earth, rocks can be organized by a process called «frost heave.» With frost heave, repeatedly freezing and thawing of the ground can bring rocks to the surface and organize them into piles, stripes or even circles. On Earth, one of these temperature cycles takes a year, but on Mars it might be connected to changes in the planet’s orbit around the Sun that take much longer.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona
#nasa #space #mars #dunes #boulder #martian #surface #dark #light #earth #arctic #science #solarsystem #planet #mystery #detective #pictureoftheday